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    November 20, 2019 8:44 AM IST
    SANTA CLARA [url=https://www.49ersfanshop.com/Arik-Armstead-Jersey]Arik Armstead Jersey[/url] , Calif. (AP) — Nick Mullens is getting an extended look as the San Francisco 49ers‘ starting quarterback, and an important test awaits Sunday.Mullens will make the first road start of his NFL career against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, his first chance to show how he handles a hostile environment after making his first two starts at home.After the 49ers lost No. 1 quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to a season-ending knee injury in Week 3, C.J. Beathard got the first crack at replacing him. Beathard failed to impress over five starts, and the 49ers (2-8) turned to Mullens, who hadn't played a snap in the NFL before his Nov. 1 start against Oakland.He threw for 262 yards and three touchdowns in that victory and played solid again in a Nov. 12 loss to the New York Giants. Now Mullens, an undrafted free agent who spent all of last season on San Francisco's practice squad [url=https://www.49ersfanshop.com/Frank-Gore-Jersey]Frank Gore Color Rush Jersey[/url] , will have his poise tested on the road."That definitely is a big challenge," Mullens said Wednesday. "I haven't played on the road yet. But I think this team is excited. It's important we start fast. It's important for me to keep my same mindset. Don't let the environment impact the way you play."Mullens has completed 71 percent of his passes for 512 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions in two games. Those numbers, along with the leadership he has shown, have placed him squarely in the 49ers' thoughts regarding next season. Assuming Garoppolo makes a healthy return by training camp, which is expected, Mullens will be a legitimate contender for the backup role.But coming off a bye week [url=https://www.49ersfanshop.com/Bradley-Pinion-Jersey]https://www.49ersfanshop.com/Bradley-Pinion-Jersey[/url] , he's trying to help the 49ers finish this season strong after a disappointing first 10 games. Tampa Bay's defense, on paper, would suggest Mullens can find his comfort zone Sunday.The Buccaneers have allowed the fifth-most yards per game in the NFL (395.9), and they sport the league's worst turnover ratio at minus-23.Tampa Bay (3-7) has not generated a single defensive takeaway since Justin Evans made a first-quarter interception in the third week against Pittsburgh. Entering Sunday, the Buccaneers have played 32 consecutive quarters without a takeaway.The 49ers haven't been much better with a minus-15 turnover ratio, second-worst in the NFL."I think that's one of the reasons for both teams not having much success," 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said.Mullens has a unique method for trying to prepare for a road game [url=https://www.49ersfanshop.com/Laken-Tomlinson-Jersey]Laken Tomlinson Jersey[/url] , one that he used even before becoming the 49ers starter.He found audio files of artificial crowd noise, via Apple Music, slips on his headphones and listens to it at home, calling out signals over the noise as if he was at the line of scrimmage."I have a very strict routine that I try to stick to, and it helps me prepare," Mullens said. "And that does involve calling out the plays and envisioning the plays and seeing them in your head."Given that preparation, it was somewhat surprising to hear Mullens say that he actually did take a couple days off during his bye week and spent it with his wife.Shanahan said he didn't talk much to Mullens during the break."You let him get away [url=https://www.49ersfanshop.com/Terrell-Owens-Jersey]Terrell Owens Color Rush Jersey[/url] ," the coach said. "He's heard enough of me for the time being."NOTES: Garoppolo, who until recently was using crutches in his recovery from surgery for a torn ACL, has been cleared to at least watch practice from the sidelines, which he did Wednesday as a light drizzle fell. . Receiver Pierre Garcon (knee) did not practice but did agility work on the side. Guard Joshua Garnett (thumb) was held out. Linebacker Reuben Foster (hamstring) and center Weston Richburg (knee) both were limited. There were plenty of drops at today’s practice" />Skip to main contentclockmenumore-arrownoyesHorizontal - WhiteNiners Nationa San Francisco 49ers communityLog In or Sign UpLog InSign UpFanpostsFanshotsSectionsLibrary49ersOddsShopAboutMastheadCommunity GuidelinesStubHubMoreAll 322 blogs on Horizontal - WhiteFanposts Fanshots Sections 49ers Salary CapLevi’s Stadium Events49ers Transactions49ers Injury News49ers Press Conferences & Conference CallsFiled under:Today's NFL NewsSan Francisco 49ers News49ers offseason workouts, OTAs, minicampRecapping Day 1 of minicamp: Rough day for the wide receiversNew,71commentsThere were plenty of drops at today’s practicePDTShareTweetShareShareRecapping Day 1 of minicamp: Rough day for the wide receiversPhoto by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty ImagesIt was a sloppy first practice for the San Francisco 49ers on Tuesday. The offense kept putting the ball on the ground [url=https://www.49ersfanshop.com/Joshua-Garnett-Jersey]https://www.49ersfanshop.com/Joshua-Garnett-Jersey[/url] , whether it was from dropped passes or fumbling. Usually, you’d like practice to end on a high note. Today’s practice ended on a missed field goal. That kicker was not named Robbie Gould, who won’t be at tomorrow’s practice, either. Speaking of Gould, head coach Kyle Shanahan didn’t seem too worried about his absence. “I’d much rather Robbie, be here and doing everything. If he doesn’t want to show up until Week 1, it is what it is. I’ll take a very good kicker anytime. Whether it’s Week 1 [url=https://www.49ersfanshop.com/George-Kittle-Jersey]George Kittle Jersey[/url] , or it’s third down right before we have to kick. I just hope he shows up by the time we play Week 1.”Injury newsMike McGlinchey didn’t practice today. Shanahan said that was the plan all along. He had a scheduled platelet-rich plasma (PRP) treatment on his knee. He should be ready for training camp. Shanahan believes it’s minor. Joe Staley was limited today as well. Staley is dealing with a pectoral strain.Deebo Samuel didn’t practice today, either. Samuel suffered a tweaked groin, so the team held him out. Samuel hasn’t practiced the last two weeks. Again, it doesn’t appear to be serious.The reason Garrett Celek hasn’t cleared the concussion protocol is that the team has to practice in pads for him to go through the protocol. That doesn’t matter, as Shanahan mentioned Celek had back surgery and will be out at least two months.QB2 race is neck and neckC.J. Beathard spoke with the media after practice. Beathard mentioned how he and Nick Mullens are very close off the field and hang out all of the time. That makes it easier and allows them to keep the competition between the white lines. He was talking about how often they golf. Beathard wasn’t so kind about Max McCaffrey’s golf skills.He mentioned how quarterbacks coach Shane Day, and passing game coordinator Mike LaFleur have been working on improving Beathard’s pocket presence. There wasn’t a live pass-rush, but C.J. did hit Marquise Goodwin deep for a big play during practice today.Shanahan maintained the fact that both quarterbacks are even at this point. He also said it doesn’t matter because the hope is Jimmy Garoppolo is healthy all season. That was refreshing to hear. Shanahan did say that both have played at a high level.As for Garoppolo [url=https://www.49ersfanshop.com/K_Waun-Williams-Jersey]K'Waun Williams Color Rush Jersey[/url] , he participated in a two-minute drill today. That’s progress. It wasn’t 11-on-11. It was 11-on-7, as Garoppolo still hasn’t been cleared for contact, so Shanahan didn’t put a pass rush out there. He had Goodwin on a deep shot—I don’t remember who was covering him off the top of my head—but Jimmy G missed Goodwin. He also missed Pettis down the field as well. One thing is certain: Garoppolo has plenty of zip on the ball.Plays/Player of the dayAhkello Witherspoon had a nice pass breakup against Richie James defensively.Jordan Matthews went up and high-pointed a pass for a touchdown.Goodwin was the player of the day. He is a tough cover for the secondary. Shanahan downplayed that during his press conference, though. Shanahan mentioned how Goodwin is always tough to cover in the spring because he is healthy and fresh now.

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