Jimmy Garoppolo makes unexpected debut for 49ers, promptly throws touchdown

It took a late fourth-quarter injury to starting quarterback C.J. Beathard for Jimmy Garoppolo to finally make his debut for the 49ers. Garoppolo, who was acquired via trade from the Patriots late last month, has spent the last four weeks on the sidelines because, as first-year 49ers' coach Kyle Shanahan has previously explained, there was no reason to rush Garoppolo onto the field.

This is one of the unintended silver linings to being among the league's worst teams -- there is no pressure to win right now.

Anyway, Garoppolo did enough in three plays to make you wonder why he's been standing on the sidelines. Yes, there was just 67 seconds left in the game and the 49ers trailed the Seahawks, 24-6, at that point. Still, Garoppolo ran for four yards on his first snap. Then he threw an eight-yard completion to Aldrick Robinson. And as time expired, he threw a touchdown pass to Louis Murphy.

Worth noting: That final drive was 13 plays and covered 75 yards, the first 53 of which featured Beathard under center and he completed 7 of 10 passes before leaving with an injury. So while Garoppolo's performance was nice, it doesn't automatically signal a change atop the depth chart. And even if it does, the 49ers are still 1-10 and still eliminated from the playoffs.

CBS Sports Writer

Ryan Wilson has been an NFL writer for CBS Sports since June 2011, and he's covered five Super Bowls in that time. Ryan previously worked at AOL's FanHouse from start to finish, and Football Outsiders... Full Bio

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