It has been a challenging week for the San Francisco 49ers as injuries continue to mount, and, as expected, the team will be without Jimmy Garoppolo against the Giants. The announcement comes after 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan indicated earlier in the week that Garoppolo was unlikely to play.
“49ers HC Kyle Shanahan made it official this morning on @KNBR: Nick Mullens will start Sunday vs. the #Giants,” My Sports Update tweeted.
Niners head coach Kyle Shanahan previously said that Nick Mullens is “most likely” going to be the team’s starting quarterback against the Giants.
“Most likely Nick Mullens,” Shanahan explained, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter. “I mean, I’d be surprised if Jimmy (Garoppolo) is ready.”
Shanahan added that Mullens is “ready to go” and emphasized the team is confident in his ability behind center. The 49ers head coach believes his previous experience has “prepared him for moments like this.”
“Nick’s ready to go,” Shanahan noted, per 49ers.com. “Nick’s had a lot of playing time with us. 2018 prepared him for moments like this. He always does a good job in practice. I’m excited to see him get his opportunity.”
Shanahan Squashed the Idea of a QB Controversy: ‘Jimmy’s Our Guy’
Earlier in the week, Shanahan dismissed the idea of a potential quarterback controversy in San Francisco. The 49ers coach emphasized that Garoppolo will once again be the team’s starting quarterback as soon as he is healthy enough to return to the field.
“No, Jimmy’s our guy and if he’s good to go and the doctors say he’s healthy and he can go out there and protect himself and if Jimmy feels confident in doing it and gives us the best chance to win, in that case, then Jimmy will be out there,” Shanahan explained, per Niners Nation. “If Jimmy’s not safe and he can’t protect himself, then we’ll go with Nick.”
The Giants Were Preparing for Both Quarterbacks
Prior to the recent announcement, Giants head coach Joe Judge admitted they were preparing for both quarterbacks in case Garoppolo was able to have a miraculous recovery. Judge is more familiar with Garoppolo as he was a Patriots assistant coach when the 49ers quarterback was Tom Brady’s backup. The Giants coach has also been impressed with what he has seen from Mullens calling him a “tough gritty dude.”
“Mullens, one thing he does an extremely good job of is, you can spread the field out with him (but) he gets the ball out of his hand extremely fast,” Judge said, per 49ers.com. “He’s a tough gritty dude. He obviously had some success for them in the past when he’s had to play. Whether it’s Jimmy or Mullens, you have to have a little bit of a plan for both because what they may do may be dictated based on who’s at the game. These are conversations that we’re having with coaches, that we’re putting a plan together for the players.”
The 49ers have a long list of other injuries including Nick Bosa, Dee Ford, Raheem Mostert, Deebo Samuel and Solomon Thomas. Despite the injuries, San Francisco is still 3.5-point favorites over New York, per OddsShark. As the 49ers head back to MetLife Stadium, the team is hoping to come away with a win and, just as important, without any more serious injuries.