Story and photos by R. Mascardo
SANTA CLARA — Jimmy Garoppolo’s mere magic presence wasn’t enough for the winless 49ers. He did not even really get to play in his first game since getting traded from the New England Patriots.
C.J. Beathard got battered, trying to be a quarterback behind a makeshift line as the 49ers’ record sank to a 0-9 with a 20-10 home loss to the Arizona Cardinals.
The 49ers’ next and, perhaps, best shot at a win comes next Sunday when the New York Giants (1-7) visit Levi’s Stadium, where the 49ers have a franchise record of 11 straight losses.
Beathard endured five sacks and 16 hits, alarming totals that don’t even include the harshest punishment he experienced.
He said his greatest pain came when his thumb hit a helmet on a pass. Also, his neck got twisted on a hit after a false start penalty nullified a play. And his neck survived a forearm hit, penalizing Antoine Bethea and igniting a late game melee.
Shanahan made no promises on when he’ll play Garoppolo, and Sunday’s protection issues plus receiver woes made it wise to keep Garoppolo out of harm’s way. Garoppolo’s only action during the game was basically to play catch and help warm up Beathard between series.
Shanahan said it would be an “ unfair position” to insert Garoppolo so soon since his arrival and because of a banged-up supporting cast, including left tackle Joe Staley’s absence that will last at least one more game.
Beathard could not keep pace on the scoreboard with Cardinals counterpart Drew Staton, who started in place of the injured Carson Palmer and threw two touchdown passes before halftime.
The 49ers haven’t won since last Christmas Eve, when Kaepernick led the late comeback over host Los Angeles Rams.