49ers coach Kyle Shanahan has clarified recent comments when he indicated he wasn't sure who would be the team's starting quarterback for its Week 8 matchup against the Bears in Chicago.
Speaking with reporters on a conference call on Monday, Shanahan said Jimmy Garoppolo is still tabbed to start over rookie Trey Lance, and that the previous uncertainty was mostly owing to Garoppolo's injury status.
"In terms of deciding who's going at quarterback, that has to do with Jimmy's health," Shanahan said. "I wanted to see how his calf was, and it's good today. So he'll be starting, and hopefully Trey will get back into practice and have a good enough week to where he can dress, and if he ends up dressing, there's always a good chance he'll get some plays in there."
But after Sunday night's demoralizing loss to the Indianapolis Colts at Levi's Stadium, Shanahan seemed to offer up a half-hearted endorsement of Garoppolo when asked whether Jimmy G was still the starter.
“Well, that…I would guess so. You know, I’m gonna watch this tape and see if guys are healthy, first of all, and know where our guys are at,” Shanahan told reporters on Sunday. “It was good for Jimmy to get healthy enough to play in this game tonight.”
Garoppolo struggled against the Colts, throwing two interceptions in tough weather conditions en route to a decisive defeat. The poor showing prompted some to wonder whether Jimmy G was on the hot seat, after the Niners drafted Lance third overall earlier this year.
But Lance, too, has been hampered by minor injury, missing the Colts game due to a knee ailment suffered in Week 5 against the Cardinals. Lance started that game in place of Garoppolo, who suffered a calf injury in Week 4 against the Seahawks.
Lance was expected to be back at practice on Wednesday, though Shanahan cautioned he was likely to see relatively limited action against the Bears after missing a couple weeks of practice.
With the loss to the Colts, the 49ers fell to 2-4 and hit "rock bottom" in the Shanahan era, according to KGMZ's Alex Espinoza.