It’s the final week of the NFL regular season, which means it’s also the final week of peppering 49ers players and coaches with questions about whether or not Jimmy Garoppolo will be the team’s starting quarterback next year.
Yesterday it was Kyle Shanahan backing Garoppolo and saying he believes Jimmy G will be the team’s starting quarterback next season. That’s to be expected, there really is no incentive for Shanahan to say otherwise, even if he’s going to do anything he can to try and replace him.
Next up was George Kittle, who was asked by Mark Willard on KNBR Tuesday morning for his thoughts on the Jimmy G criticism. Again, it was no surprise that Kittle offered a full-throated endorsement of his quarterback.
“At the end of the day I play tight end here and I just work here, but I think that I do have a little bit of a voice and I’ve said multiple times that I just love playing football with Jimmy G,” Kittle said. “Our team is different when he’s out there, and that’s why it’s fun to play football with him because I think we both have big time changes to our huddles when we’re both on the football field.
“I can’t say enough about the leader Jimmy G is, and how his presence changes how the team is feeling, how the team is going about its business and how the team practices every day. Jimmy G is our quarterback, and moving forward he’s our quarterback, and that’s all I really have to say about it.
“I’m going to go with the guy that took us to a Super Bowl and played at a high level the entire year. That’s my case for Jimmy G and I think it’s a decent one.”
Even if the 49ers have one eye towards moving away from Garoppolo, it stands to reason that he’ll be back next year, especially considering San Francisco may have played themselves out of a position to draft a top four quarterback. The win over the Cardinals pushed the 49ers back to 15th position, and while a trade up or a trade for a veteran QB is on the table, Garoppolo taking the first snap Week 1 is probably more likely.