Jimmy Garoppolo's return to the field was short lived.
The San Francisco 49ers benched their starting quarterback after a disastrous first half Sunday against the Miami Dolphins in which he threw two interceptions as the team fell behind by 23 points. He would remain sidelined as the Niners dropped their third home game of the young season, 43-17.
Backup QB C.J. Beathard took over the reins on the Niners' first possession of the second half and promptly led the offense on a 74-yard scoring drive, capped off by a 19-yard touchdown pass to Kendrick Bourne. That was the high point of his day, as he completed just 9 of 18 passes for 94 yards and lost a fumble. Last week, Beathard replaced a struggling Nick Mullens in the fourth quarter of a loss to the Eagles.
Jimmy G was even shakier in his first action since suffering an ankle injury in the first half of a Week 2 win versus the Jets. San Francisco's incumbent starter was off the mark from the outset Sunday, completing only 7 of 17 passes for 77 yards and the two picks.
"You can tell he was affected by his ankle," 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan told reporters afterward.
The reigning NFC champs have been just as affected by their QB play during a 2-3 start. With seven straight games coming up against teams currently .500 or better, they could be looking at a long, lost season if they don't get more production from the most important position.