The transition from overcoming a disheartening loss to preparing for the NFL’s only undefeated team will be brief this week, and the 49ers are on the clock.
“There’s no time to sit here and sulk,” head coach Kyle Shanahan said.
By early Tuesday afternoon, Shanahan had finished breaking down Monday night’s 33-30 loss in Green Bay and shifted his focus to Sunday’s home game against the Rams (6-0), who are led by quarterback Jared Goff, a Marin Catholic-Kentfield and Cal alum.
The Rams have a rising star at quarterback, and the 49ers are trying to cope with the season-ending injury to Jimmy Garoppolo. Shanahan was encouraged by what he saw Monday of C.J. Beathard, who kept the 49ers in the game until their final drive.
After watching video, Shanahan commended Beathard for making big plays throughout the game but noted a couple of costly mishaps in the end.
“By no means was it perfect,” Shanahan said, “but I was happy with how he played. I was proud with how he played. But there are definitely things he could learn from, and I think he will.”
Shanahan has wanted a third quarterback since Garoppolo tore the ACL in his left knee in the third game, and the 49ers signed Tom Savage on Tuesday to a one-year deal to back up Beathard and Nick Mullens.
Savage, who’s 6-foot-4, started nine games in four seasons with the Texans, including seven in 2017, and made enough of an impression in a workout following Garoppolo’s injury. Savage, 28, completed 56.1 percent of his passes last season and tried out for the Saints this season but was released Sept. 1.
Creating roster space, the 49ers waived tight end Cole Wick.
“He’s gotten to play in a number of NFL games, so he’s been battle-tested,” Shanahan said of Savage. “He was in a tough situation in Houston that didn’t work out with him, but I got to study him in preseason when he was in New Orleans, which has some similarities in its offense to ours.”
Speaking of the 49ers’ offense, it took a big step Monday to keep pace with the Packers, at least until Aaron Rodgers’ customary late-game theatrics put Green Bay in position to win on a 27-yard field goal.
In retrospect, Shanahan said he wished he had tried something different on the 49ers’ final drive. The Packers were out of timeouts when Shanahan called for a pass on 2nd-and-3 (incomplete) and another on 3rd-and-3 (interception).
“If I would’ve had it back, yeah, I would’ve loved to call something that worked,” Shanahan said. “But when you get into a 3rd-and-3 versus an all-out blitz, there are not many runs for that. That was the play we didn’t make right there. You’re always concerned about giving it to Aaron, but I thought we had a chance to win the game right there.”
Now it’s on to the Rams with little time to spare.
“Short weeks are always tough, but sometimes it can be a good thing,” Shanahan said. “We’ve got a good team coming here on Sunday, and we’ve got to put this (Green Bay game) to bed, which is tough because we know we let one get away that I feel we played good enough to win. We didn’t get it done in the end.”
Injury updates: Shanahan listed three injured players as day to day: cornerbacks Ahkello Witherspoon (concussion protocol), K’Waun Williams (shoulder) and Jimmie Ward (hamstring).