This morning, Jimmy Garoppolo will line up across from an opposing defense not made up of teammates for the first time since his season-ending ACL injury last year. The San Francisco 49ers are participating in two joint practices with the Denver Broncos with the second session coming on Saturday.

Garoppolo was asked earlier this month if joint practices with other teams are more beneficial than those against teammates in Santa Clara.

"Yeah, I prefer it," the quarterback responded. "Especially, I mean you see different looks, new defense. You get to this point in camp, and the defense knows our calls, we know their calls type of thing, and it kind of becomes repetitive. But, whenever you get that chance, you know, juices kick up, the competition kicks up, it's exciting."

The two teams will play an exhibition game against one another on Monday night at Mile High Stadium. Garoppolo is scheduled to play. The quarterback didn't play in the 49ers' preseason opener against the Dallas Cowboys and observed from the sideline along with several other starters.

How much Garoppolo plays is dependent on how these next two practices go.

"I haven't decided yet," head coach Kyle Shanahan told reports this week. "That depends on how the practices go this week. That's something I'll probably decide on Sunday."

Shanahan and the 49ers have been understandably cautious with Garoppolo. He didn't start participating in team drills until training camp, once he was medically cleared to do so. Teammates have been instructed to avoid potential collisions with the franchise quarterback.

While hitting the quarterback in practice is always a no-no, Garoppolo is even more off-limits. A lot of this season rides on him staying healthy through 16 games, possibly more.

"I'll dive out of the way and hurt myself before I touch him," rookie defensive end Nick Bosa said at the start of training camp.

That, by the way, is not how Bosa's latest injury occurred.

After the two practices through Saturday, the 49ers will take part in a walkthrough on Sunday, which is closed off to the media, with Monday night's kickoff scheduled for 6 p.m. MT (5 p.m. PT).

Quick Practice Note

Tight ends George Kittle and Levine Toilolo, along with defensive linemen Jullian Taylor and D.J. Jones are among the 49ers not in uniform for the first joint practice, according to Matt Barrows of The Athletic.