John Lynch sat down to talk with the local media on Tuesday. The San Francisco 49ers general manager provided updates on some key members of the roster as the team prepares for Sunday's matchup against the Seattle Seahawks.
Here’s what the GM had to say:
1. C.J. Beathard
If the 49ers didn’t already have a tough decision at the quarterback position, last week made that resolution more complex. Beathard is coming off of his best performance of the season against the New York Giants. Beathard finished 19-of-25 passing for 288 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. It showed why the 49ers traded up in the third round to get the Iowa product.
Through five weeks of being named the starter, Beathard has undoubtedly shown resilience, toughness and grit under center. Still, there is no set designation between Beathard and ’s future going forward, but the rookie has continued to impress through the course of the season.
"C.J. played extremely well versus the Giants," Lynch said. "I think (Kyle Shanahan and I are) both believers that this thing will play itself out."
2. Joe Staley
If you haven’t already watched the 49ers emotional Week 10 post-game celebration, you should take a look. One player who was exceptionally expressive in the 49ers the victory was Staley. Staley has been one of the faces of the organization for more than a decade and remains the anchor of the 49ers offensive line. The 11-year veteran's name was commonly thrown around during the trade deadline which left many wondering what the future holds.
“We love Joe Staley and love the way he plays. We think he’s a really good scheme fit for the offense we play in," Lynch said. "Joe can play in any offense. We feel like it’s an ideal fit. I think as you’re around these guys, we’re constantly evaluating.”
Staley was projected to miss a significant amount of time following an orbital fracture in Week 8 against the Philadelphia Eagles. Staley’s injury forced right tackle Trent Brown to play in his absence. His presence was well-documented in his timely Week 10 return against the Giants as Beathard was virtually untouched in the 49ers 31-21 victory.
“You see a guy come back from having broken his face and an 0-9 team and being extremely resolute in his want to get back in here, pressing the doctors," Lynch added. "A lot of guys could just say ‘I think I’m going to take the rest of this year.’ And that’s not where he’s at. When a guy like that steps up like that and plays that way and you see the excitement and see how excited he is, that’s a big deal for us.
“We feel like there’s a lot of places where we need to improve, and you’re always to improve. But (Brown and Staley) are cornerstones for the next few years.”
3. Pierre Garçon
Hyde is set to become a free agent this offseason, and there have been questions regarding his future in San Francisco.
“I think quickly he learned this is a system he could really thrive in. He was pushed and he responded. He changed his body type," Lynch said. "I think he’s a really good fit for our scheme. He’s a really good fit for any scheme. He’s had a really good year. I really admire some of the things he does, the way he pass blocks is important to be a complete football player and he’s shown that with the way he’s worked and in the way he’s played.”
4. Arik Armstead
The 49ers have been without Armstead since the defensive lineman broke his hand against the Washington Redskins in Week 6.
Even without a full season of tape to evaluate, Lynch reiterated that Armstead will be a part of the 49ers long-term plan.
“I felt like (Week 6) was his best (game). We had seen glimpses. But he kind of put it all together," Lynch said. "That was very encouraging at the same time disappointing because right when it was starting to click he breaks his hand. He broke it in a place right in the joint where normally you can put a cast on it. Believe me, he wanted to, but because it was right in the joint it could really hurt his long term. He had to be done for the season. So, that was disappointing but we were real pleased. We think he’s a fit with where we are and how we are going forward. I think he has a bright future with us.”
Injuries have limited Armstead to just 13 games over the past two seasons. He will enter the final year of his rookie contract next season.
5. Ronald Blair III
Blair spent the first eight weeks of the 2017 season on Injured Reserve before returning to the lineup in Week 9.
After a quiet debut against the Arizona Cardinals, Blair had a career game the following week against the Giants with four total tackles, two sacks and his first forced fumble of his career.
“We liked his skill set. He’s a versatile player. He can play really three positions for us: he can play the big end, he can play the LEO, he can play three-technique – limited pass rush," Lynch said. "Last week at the goal line play, he lined up at the nose. I don’t know how that happened. I thought he played well last week. So, that was good. The first week back he was rusty. He looked great at practice. I was expecting great things. But the second week, I think his legs came underneath. He started using his hands, and he really showed up last week. He kind of validated the trust we had in him. Those spots are valuable, returning from IR. And we used one of those spots on him.”
6. Joshua Garnett
A knee injury during training camp landed Garnett on Injured Reserve in August. The decisions was made to play it safe with the left guard and give him an entire season to rehab.
“We took a long-term view with Josh. It could have been something where we said ‘hey, he can be on a designated return.’ But we said let’s give the guy an opportunity to really get this thing right," Lynch said. "We felt it would have been rushing it given the information we had.
“He’s done a really great job at changing his body composition. We took a real holistic look and I challenged everybody in our medical – from our strength and conditioning, to our function performance guys to our nutritionist. We challenged Josh. We want to do this and here’s why, and we want you to use this opportunity to really improve yourself in every aspect. We’re going to try this as a model for anybody in a situation like him, and it’s working really well right now.”