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49ers QB Nick Mullens to start in place of Jimmy Garoppolo, Kittle will not play

Welcome back to the action, Nick Mullens.

San Francisco 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan confirmed during a Friday appearance on KNBR that Mullens will start at quarterback in place of the injured Jimmy Garoppolo on Sunday against the Giants, per ESPN's Nick Wagoner. Running backs Tevin Coleman (knee) and Raheem Mostert (knee) also will not play, per Shanahan.

After Shanahan left some room for hope earlier Friday, tight end George Kittle (knee) was also ruled out a few hours later.

Garoppolo suffered an ankle injury in Sunday's win over the New York Jets, and while the 49ers hoped the injury wouldn't be too serious, they're not rushing Garoppolo back for a second straight contest at MetLife Stadium.

Instead, they'll turn to the former Southern Mississippi star Mullens, who excited 49ers fans when Garoppolo last missed significant time due to injury in 2018. Mullens completed 64.2 percent of his passes for 2,277 yards and a 13-10 touchdown-to-interception ratio in eight starts for a 49ers team that was far from contention, bringing energy to an otherwise lost campaign. In the season that followed, Mullens was again relegated to the bench to watch Garoppolo return and help the 49ers reach Super Bowl LIV.

Kittle's availability, even at less than 100 percent, would have helped Mullens in his first start since the 2018 season. With Kittle, Coleman and Mostert out, Mullens will have to look elsewhere for all the help he can get, even against one of the NFL's worst teams from a season ago.

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