Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo did not make his first start as a 49er on Sunday -- much to the disappointment of some fans -- when San Francisco returned from its Week 11 bye.
But it looks like he could be under center next week against his hometown team when the 49ers (1-10) travel to Soldier Field to take on the Chicago Bears (3-8).
Garoppolo, the Arlington Heights native and Rolling Meadows High School graduate, made his 49ers debut with 1:07 remaining Sunday in a 24-13 loss.
San Francisco's starting quarterback, rookie C.J. Beathard, suffered a bruised lower left leg as he was hit by Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett just after releasing a pass.
Garoppolo, who cost the 49ers their second-round pick in next year's draft, was acquired from the New England Patriots at the trade deadline Oct. 31.
On his first play as a 49er, Garoppolo scrambled for 4 yards, then threw a 9-yard completion and on the next snap found well-covered wide receiver Louis Murphy for a 10-yard touchdown as time expired.
San Francisco coach Kyle Shanahan has preferred not to rush Garoppolo into the starting lineup, and Beathard, a third-round draft pick out of Iowa, has played well.
But now it appears to be Garoppolo time for the 49ers. Immediately after Sunday's game, Shanahan said he had yet to make a decision on his quarterback starter for the Bears game.
Last week, 49ers general manager John Lynch said he had been pleased with Beathard's play but that Garoppolo "is going to be our guy."
The 6-foot-2, 225-pound Garoppolo originally was a second-round draft pick (62nd overall) of the Patriots in 2014 out of Eastern Illinois.
In 3½ seasons as Tom Brady's backup, the 26-year-old Garoppolo started only two games and threw just 94 passes. But he completed 63 of them (67 percent) for 690 yards, 5 touchdowns and no interceptions for a 106.2 passer rating.
His two starts came last year when Brady was suspended for four games, but Garoppolo was sidelined with a shoulder injury in the second game.
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