49ers, Giants stay with same QB starters this week
The New York Giants and San Francisco 49ers, who will face each other Sunday on the field, have a lot more in common than their current season struggles.
The two teams, who have one win between them (that belonging to the Giants), are at a crossroads with their respective quarterback situations.
The Giants have been quarterbacked by Eli Manning since 2004, a player who has never missed a start for them and who along the way has helped deliver two Super Bowl championships.
They also have Davis Webb, their third-round draft pick waiting in the wings to get some meaningful regular-season snaps.
The 49ers, who are looking for stability at that position, acquired New England Patriots backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo on Oct. 31 in exchange for a second-round pick in the 2018 draft.
For both teams, however, the future at quarterback will have to wait, at least for another week.
"I know everyone is very excited and wants to see him play," 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said of Garoppolo. "Including myself. Including our coaches and players. Including my wife. I get that. I'm very well aware of that. But I'm fortunate to be in a situation where we can do what we think is right."
What's right for Garoppolo, who has been trying to expedite his understanding of the playbook, and the 49ers is to not rush him on the field before he's ready.
"He's never been in an offense with our type of verbiage and nothing close to it, so everything was backwards for him," Shanahan said of Garoppolo.
"I want to make sure that we play him because Jimmy has a chance to be successful, and has a chance to help our team."
To that end, Shanahan said he plans on starting C.J. Beathard against the Giants on Sunday.
"I'm committed to C.J. starting right now," Shanahan said. "He's going to get all the reps as the starting quarterback right now when we go out to practice. I expect C.J. to start this week. I'm not trying to lead you guys on to anything.
"I know for obvious reasons, Jimmy is further along than he was last week, but there's no big thing. I'm not trying to confuse you guys. I plan on going with C.J., and we'll see how practice goes."
On the Giants' side, the calls for the team to give Webb meaningful regular-season snaps to see if he's indeed worthy of succeeding Manning as the starting quarterback have only intensified given Manning's struggles of late.
To be fair to Manning, part of his troubles has been a result of a revolving door of offensive line combinations in front of him and the loss of receivers Brandon Marshall and Odell Beckham Jr. to season-ending injuries, and Sterling Shepard for two games with a sprained ankle.
"Eli, he's our quarterback," Giants coach Ben McAdoo said Monday. "But that doesn't mean at some point in time we won't throw another guy in there to get a look at him."
That "some point," however, isn't going to be this week.
"Eli will be starting," McAdoo told the 49ers media via conference call, adding that he gave "zero" consideration to starting Webb this week.
And what are his expectations as the Giants prepare to start the second half of their season?
"I guess a good place to start for Eli would be to take care of the football," McAdoo said of Manning, who has lost three fumbles this season.
"We need to hold onto the ball in the pocket, we need to be accurate with our throws, and we need to make good decisions. He's fully capable, obviously. He's done it for a long time of this league at a high level."
Manning, who does a good job blocking out the noise about his status, has insisted all along that he wants to play and be with his teammates in the trenches and there is no strain in his relationship with McAdoo.
"We communicate well," Manning said. "Have great confidence in each other and have a good relationship."
Even during this shaky season?
"He's the coach. I'm the quarterback and just trying to keep getting better and keep working," Manning said. "He said he's got faith in me and keep grinding. So that's what we're doing."
Manning, who, if he does start Sunday, would tie his older brother Peyton for second-most consecutive regular-season starts (208), said his desire to be out there has nothing to do with keeping his streak alive.
"I'm happy to be out there each and every week with my teammates. That's a goal of mine to stay healthy, to play through injuries, and to be accountable," he said.
"It's not about breaking a record, though. I like to play football and play quarterback. I understand that I got a job to do and I got to do it better and get wins, and if you don't everybody's job is up for grabs in this league."
Updated November 9, 2017