When Jimmy Garoppolo went down during Week 3 of the 2018 season, so did the hopes for the San Francisco 49ers' success. Head coach Kyle Shanahan didn't have a chance to process the loss of his starting quarterback until after the game because he still had plays to call after Garoppolo was carted off the field.

Initially, "experts" figured Garoppolo would probably miss at least part of the 49ers' offseason program. No one was really sure when we would see him throwing to his teammates in practice.

Later, Shanahan seemed hopeful that his quarterback would receive some non-contact work when organized team activities kicked off in late-May.

That seemed very optimistic at first, but Shanahan never wavered from that timeframe. Garoppolo's impending workload was not yet known when the head coach discussed the possibility last season and then again earlier in the offseason. Everyone just had to wait to see.

Garoppolo ended up getting a significant amount of work in 7-on-7 drills. In fact, he received reps from the start of OTAs and did everything minus 11-on-11 drills throughout the 49ers' offseason program. Scratch that. He did get one snap in an 11-on-11 situation to conclude the team's latest minicamp.

With so much focus on the recovery of Garoppolo's surgically repaired ACL, a procedure that took place in early October, it was encouraging to see the quarterback take on a pretty significant workload eight months later.

Beat writer Matt Barrows recently discussed Garoppolo's offseason workload and perhaps the overconcern surrounding his health in a mailbag for The Athletic but also addressed the topic during a KNBR interview.

"He worked from start to finish," Barrows said on the "Tolbert and Lund" show. "He got a lot of reps. No 11-on-11 stuff but they seemed to increase the number of 7-on-7 scenarios in which he could take part.

"The bottom line being that he took a lot of reps, made a lot of throws this spring. Really, if you were an outsider who really didn't know the background, it would have been hard for you to tell that he was coming back from an ACL (injury)."

Barrows goes on to share that Garoppolo looked good during his offseason work — at least during the practices in which reporters were allowed to observe. He may not have been 100 percent, but he was close to it.

You can listen to the entire interview with Barrows below.


More importantly, Garoppolo received another offseason of significant reps after being thrown into a difficult situation during his first couple of months with the team. That will only benefit the quarterback as he continues to master Shanahan's offense.

"The 49ers' 2019 fortunes rest largely on Garoppolo and his mastery of Kyle Shanahan's system," Barrows wrote for The Athletic.

"I think, obviously the longer I'm in this offense and able to talk to Kyle and get on the same page with him, it's all going to become more cohesive and a smoother operation," Garoppolo told reporters last week.

The next hurdle is training camp, which kicks off in late-July. While Garoppolo is expected to be medically cleared to participate in team drills, the coaching staff will no doubt be cautious. The first time we see Garoppolo face a pass rush gunning for him might be during the preseason.

In April, Shanahan discussed the possibility of Garoppolo, along with running back Jerick McKinnon, participating in preseason games.

"If their bodies can, I think that's a good thing for them," Shanahan said. "They want to test it out. I feel like that's more of a mental thing. If your body can take it and the doctors say it, and they feel confident with it, I think it's good to go out in a real-game situation and get that confidence because we're not going to let someone tackle [Garoppolo] in practice.

"A lot of times, guys want to go out and get tackled just so they can get that mental breakthrough so when they go into Week 1, they're not thinking about it."