49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan will have 10 days to decide who will will get the start at quarterback for San Francisco in their next game against the New York Giants.
After Thursday night’s showing against the Oakland Raiders, Shanahan said after the game that Nick Mullens would absolutely be in consideration to get the starting nod when the time comes.
“Definitely will consider it,” Shanahan said. “Definitely not thinking about that right now. Our whole team played very well. Nick definitely did. I thought our guys up front played well and I thought the entire offense did. I thought the defense played their tails off. I thought the pass rush was there. I thought we tackled well, thought our punter and kicker did well so it was a very good all around win.”
Mullens completed 16 of 22 passes for 262 yards and three touchdowns as the 49ers cruised to a 34-3 victory over the Raiders. While Shanahan was thrilled with Mullens’ performance, he also said it was a collective effort that enabled the team to do what it did Thursday night.
“He did an awesome job today,” Shanahan said. “The guys played real well around him. There’s a lot on his plate coming in and being his first time in a real NFL game, non-preseason. Started off real well, was very poised, got the guys in and out of the huddle and did a hell of a job.
“He didn’t really know for sure whether he was going to start today until today and just the way he handled the two days of long walkthroughs and stuff, he’s a machine in there and I was happy for him.”
Mullens got the start because C.J. Beathard was injured in Sunday’s loss to the Arizona Cardinals and had trouble sufficiently gripping a football this week in practice.
“The main thing was whether C.J. could be the backup or not,” Shanahan said regarding how close Beathard was to being able to play Thursday night. “Yesterday we had a pretty good idea that we were going to go with Nick. We just wanted to make sure that C.J. could be out there and at least be healthy enough to be the backup. So we had to go through that this morning with him. Once we confirmed that we were good to go.”
With Mullens playing as well as he did, it invites the question of why the 49ers didn’t go to him sooner as they struggled to find victories following the loss of Jimmy Garoppolo to a knee injury in September. Shanahan said he believes Beathard would have been equally as successful with the way the 49ers played around their quarterback Thursday night.
“Because I don’t put all those struggles on just C.J.,” Shanahan said. “I think people make a huge mistake saying if you win it’s the quarterback. If you lose it’s the quarterback. I mean, there’s 11 guys on offense, 53 guys on our team. I thought our team had probably our best game of the year so far. That’s nothing against C.J. I think C.J. would have played well tonight too if he played.”