Niners likely to keep Nick Mullens as starting QB

The fairy tale that played out on national TV last Thursday night is expected to continue.

San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan held off making an announcement this week so he could talk directly to his players, but it would be a major surprise if Nick Mullens did not start at quarterback moving forward, sources say. He replaced an injured C.J. Beathard against the Raiders and had one of the best first starts in NFL history.

Mullens was 16 of 22 for 262 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions. He had a passer rating of 151.9, second only to Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota in that statistic during a debut. It was the former undrafted free agent from Southern Miss’ first game action.

The 49ers gave their players four days off after the Thursday night win, and Shanahan told reporters he hadn’t made a decision on his signal-caller and would tell the players first when he did.

"I’m taking my time with it, Shanahan said. "Also, I wouldn’t want to do that with all the guys out of the building. I’d like the whole team in here, too, when I decide that. … You try to make every decision, not just about personnel, but what you do in the building, everything is ultimately about wins and losses so you decide what gives you the best chance to win."

Mullens led the Niners to their first win since Week 2, a night that included him tearing up in a postgame interview, becoming verified on Twitter and receiving a call from fellow USM alum Brett Favre on the NFL Network postgame set.

That feel-good story isn’t finished just yet.

Follow Ian Rapoport on Twitter @RapSheet.

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