Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports



"My face is good," San Francisco 49ers starting left tackle Joe Staley told Damon Bruce during an interview on 95.7 The Game on Thursday.

Staley suffered a fractured orbital bone beneath his right eye in a Week 8 contest against the Philadelphia Eagles that forced him to miss just one game.

"That was a pretty minimal injury," Staley said. "I know it sounds bad ... but it wasn't too serious at all. It was pretty unsubstantial. There was about a week rest there and then everything kind of healed up and there was no real risk of being reinjured or anything like that. I'm good."

That's certainly good news because the 49ers need Staley to protect their new starting quarterback, Jimmy Garoppolo. Speaking of Garoppolo (did you like that segue?), what did Staley think about his performance during this past Sunday's 15-14 victory against the Chicago Bears?

"He was really great out there," Staley said. "I think one of the main things too was just his presence in the huddle. I can't understate enough how important that is from the quarterback position. Just to have that confidence and that – I'm searching for the word here – just the presence in the huddle just to come out there and demand that everybody be on the same page and expect everybody to do exactly what it is expected of them every single play.

"He comes in there, day one, and was like, 'Who's my X receiver? You're winning on this third down route. I'm coming to you. Believe in yourself. Let's go.' One of those things. I think he might have picked up some of that stuff from number 12 (Tom Brady) over there in New England but he's been nothing but great since he's been here."

Garoppolo had a commanding presence while leading the offense against Chicago. If you didn't know any better, you wouldn't believe that it was just his third career NFL start and his first with the 49ers since being traded from the New England Patriots on October 30. Garoppo's performance against the Bears has fans, the media, and players excited about the 49ers' future.

"We're excited about him," Staley said. "He's worked hard since the day he's gotten here learning the playbook and feeling confident going forward. I thought he took a good first start out there in Chicago. Got us the win and we were able to move the ball down the field. Just got to capitalize more in the red zone. I thought it was a real good job by him and the whole entire team played a pretty good game."

Trailing 12-14 with 5:27 left to play in the game, Garoppolo led a 14-play, 86-yard drive to set up the game-winning field goal by kicker Robbie Gould with four seconds left on the clock. On the drive, Garoppolo completed five of his six attempts for 54 yards and converted on three third-down plays.

"There was no sense of panic on the sidelines," Staley said of the situation before the game-winning drive. "We kind of felt like our defense was playing well, giving us opportunities. We were moving the ball real well. Just have to convert. We got it to where we had one more possession left. We felt like getting the ball – I think we had six minutes left – getting the ball with six minutes left, felt like it was time for one final drive.

"Trent Taylor had that big third-down conversion and I think Jimmy converted three third downs on that drive so it was an all-around good drive and well-executed but there was no panic.

"I don't know if that comes directly from the quarterback play but I think that whole entire game, we kind of felt confident going in there."