SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- First-year coach Kyle Shanahan knows he needs to get better quarterback play for the 49ers to end their four-game losing skid that has opened his tenure.
But that doesn't mean he's going to bench starter Brian Hoyer.
Hoyer had a rough outing Sunday in Arizona in the team's 18-15 overtime loss to the Cardinals, completing fewer than 50 percent of his passes while extending his streak with an interception to four games. It was the third time in four weeks San Francisco failed to score a touchdown.
Shanahan was asked Monday if the losing effort will lead to giving rookie C.J. Beathard a shot in Hoyer's place.
"I don't look it just as it's Brian versus C.J. right now. I look at it as, 'What's best for our team right now?' And if I did feel that was the best thing for our team at this time, I wouldn't hesitate at all," Shanahan said.
Hoyer had a firm grip on the starting job ever since he signed his two-year contract with San Francisco in March.
He operated the offense confidently during training camp, leaving little doubt he was Shanahan's top option entering the season.
But Hoyer's play through the first four games has been among the key reasons the 49ers are winless.
Opponents have scored 27 combined points on drives following his five turnovers. The team lost its past three games to NFC West foes by eight points combined.
"I know we very easily could be 3-1," Shanahan said. "And you don't want to make drastic changes for one reason. There's a lot of things that go into losing games. It's never just one guy."
Hoyer was inaccurate in Arizona, completing 24 of 39 passes for 234 yards. But he hasn't gotten much help from his receivers, either. Hoyer had four passes dropped Sunday, giving his targets 12 on the season to lead the NFL, according to Pro Football Focus.
San Francisco enters Week 5 against the Colts with the league's 25th-ranked passing offense averaging 193 yards per game.
Shanahan hopes Hoyer can rebound in Week 5 to regain the confidence he played with during training camp.
"Real confidence is from experiencing success. That's when it's real. If you're not, you're trying to talk yourself into it and that isn't very real," Shanahan said.
Shanahan said he'd be surprised if standout rookie linebacker Reuben Foster returned to practice this week after suffering a high ankle sprain in the season opener. However, he wouldn't rule it out. He also said safety Eric Reid is more likely to return next week after suffering a knee injury in Week 2.
Receiver Marquise Goodwin will begin the week in the concussion protocol after leaving Sunday's game in the first half.
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