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SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Some fans here in Chicago might have anticipated this homecoming taking place earlier in the 2016 with the NFL team 25 miles from his home town.

Instead, it will happen in December with Jimmy Garoppolo wearing a gold helmet instead of a blue one at Soldier Field.

Arlington Heights native Jimmy Garoppolo was announced as the starter for the 49ers for this Sunday’s game against the Bears. He’s replacing C.J. Beathard, who injured his leg late in San Francisco’s game against Seattle last Sunday.

It was then that Garoppolo made his debut with the 49ers, his first action of the 2017 season since being traded from the New England Patriots in October. In that time, he completed two passes against Seattle, including a touchdown on the final play.

A standout at Rolling Meadows High School and Eastern Illinois, Garoppolo spent three-and-a-half seasons as the primary backup for Tom Brady with the Patriots. In that time he appeared in 17 games, including two as a starter in 2016 after Brady’s NFL suspension for the “Deflategate” controversy. He completed 63-of-94 passes for 690 with five touchdowns and no interceptions.

Reports circulated last season that Garoppolo could be a trade target for the Bears as they were looking for a franchise quarterback after moving on from Jay Cutler. Instead the team opted to draft Mitchell Trubisky with the second overall pick in the draft.