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‘Little Bit Off the Beaten Path’: Domonique Foxworth Makes His Case for 49ers Coach Kyle Shanahan to Bench Jimmy Garoppolo For Rookie Trey Lance

When ESPN “Get Up” host Domonique Foxworth was asked on Tuesday if the 49ers could win the Super Bowl with Jimmy Garoppolo as the starter, he responded with an answer that almost made co-host Jeff Saturday fall out of his chair.

As the backup QB, yeah. I think they need to go Trey Lance,” Foxworth said, already establishing the hottest sports take of the day before noon.

“I know that it’s a little bit off the beaten path, but the reason why you go with a quarterback like Jimmy Garoppolo is because he protects you from the low-lows … right? I want this veteran guy because he will not have these awful plays and he may not give me the high-end performance that I want, but he won’t have the awful decisions and bad turnovers in big moments.

“Jimmy Garoppolo is missing important passes in big moments, so he’s not giving you those high-end plays. He’s also desperately, desperately trying to throw the ball to the other team every single week. So, a young guy can do that too and potentially has a high-end ability. I wouldn’t have the heart to do it if I was Kyle Shanahan, but it’s the truth.”

Saturday’s reaction to Foxworth’s bold and outlandish suggestion:

“Domonique, you are high. You have lost your freaking mind.”

We all know that Foxworth was reaching and trying to compare this situation to when Colin Kaepernick emerged from his backup role to capture the NFL world by storm when starter Alex Smith went down with a concussion in Week 10 of the 2012 season.

Kaepernick had very little experience, appearing in just three games as a rookie.

Head coach Jim Harbaugh thrust Kaepernick into action. The dual-threat dynamo wasn’t as polished a pocket passer as Smith, but Kaep could make explosive plays with his rocket launcher of an arm, speed and elusiveness.

Harbaugh kept Smith on the bench when he cleared concussion protocols and a star was born as Kaepernick led the 49ers to their first Super Bowl since 1994, when Steve Young, Jerry Rice and John Taylor were killing the game.

He returned to the NFC Championship Game in 2013 and that was the height of Kaepernick’s NFL career, for the many reasons that we’ve all discussed ad nauseum, and yet never enough.

But Harbaugh saw something in Kaepernick. The former 49ers coach, who currently leads the Michigan Wolverines, played his gut and caught lightning in a bottle. Lance seems to possess a similar skill set and he has the same raw potential that Kaep had.

Lance has spent his first NFL season holding a clipboard and becoming a student of the game. He did make two starts in place of an injured Jimmy G, so he’s not really green.

Foxworth’s point wasn’t lost on the social media mosh pit. Some Niners fans agreed with his idea.

For more reaction to the ESPN analyst’s suggestion that the San Francisco 49ers bench veteran Jimmy G for rookie Trey Lance in an NFC Title game, click here.

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