With Garoppolo nursing a high ankle sprain, Nick Mullens got the start Sunday in East Rutherford, New Jersey and played well, going 25-for-36 for 343 yards and a touchdown in the 49ers' 36-9 beatdown of the Giants.
The 343 yards were a career-high for Mullens, and his effort impressed 49ers legend Jerry Rice.
"Nick Mullens -- Nick got this swagger," Rice said Monday on "The Morning Show" on 95.7 The Game. "He's got this cockiness about him. For some reason, the team rallies around this guy. Yesterday, he was 25 of 36 for over 300 yards. He was able to have the poise on the field to win his teammates over to where now his teammates are going to go out and back him 100 percent."
There's no doubt Mullens was excellent against the lowly Giants. Those 343 yards were the second-most of Mullens' career, and he did it without tight end Geogre Kittle or wide receiver Deebo Samuel on the field.
Mullens also was spectacular under pressure. When he was blitzed Sunday, Mullens was 14 of 20 for 212 yards and a touchdown, per Pro Football Focus.
It's unclear when Garoppolo will return from his sprained ankle. The 49ers' next two games are against the 0-2-1 Philadelphia Eagles and the 1-2 Miami Dolphins, two teams the 49ers should have no problem dispatching.
Kyle Shanahan and Jerry Rice are sold on Mullens, and after his showing Sunday, there's no reason to believe Mullens can't get the job done and keep the 49ers afloat until Garoppolo returns.