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Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

49ers’ Kyle Shanahan admires Jimmy Garoppolo’s ‘grit’ in performance vs. Jets

Sep 21, 2020 at 2:11 PM--

San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan was proud of how his quarterback, Jimmy Garoppolo, performed on Sunday against the New York Jets before being forced to miss the second half due to a high-ankle sprain. The injury, however, occurred well before halftime. The quarterback played on his injured ankle for much of the first half before being forced to sit out the remainder of the game.

Garoppolo endured much criticism following his lackluster Week 1 performance in a loss against the Arizona Cardinals. He finished Sunday's game having completed 87.5 percent of his passes for 131 yards with two touchdowns and a passer rating of 140.4.

If that's how Garoppolo performs while playing with an injury, Shanahan joked that maybe the 49ers should change their pregame strategy.

"I told him we can hit him with a bat on the way out before we start, if he wants, if that will help him," Shanahan told reporters on Monday. "He kind of laughed at it. Jimmy's a physical guy, and for lots of guys, it kind of gets them going in the game and gets you more alert.

"Jimmy plays with a lot of grit. For him to hurt his ankle like he did -- the next series in, we had a third-down where people weren't open on ... for him to scramble right when he could barely move, make that throw to (Brandon) Aiyuk to move the chains that led to a 14-play drive, he really gutted it out.

"He's as tough of a guy as I've been around."

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As for the injury itself, Shanahan feels that the play should have drawn multiple penalties. It didn't, however, because the referee never blew his whistle to end the play. So Jets defensive tackle Quinnen Williams played through and reached the quarterback.

"They hit him right in the calf or the Achilles, so that was low," Shanahan said. "They didn't call that. Then, they couldn't blow the whistle because [referee Ronald Torbert's] mask was on, and he couldn't get the mask off in time.

"So while Jimmy's laying there, and they can't blow the whistle because the mask was on, a guy came and hit him again. So I thought there should've been two penalties on that play."

Shanahan hasn't yet ruled Garoppolo out of the 49ers' Week 3 contest against the New York Giants because the injury was not as severe as the team initially thought. Although, fans will likely see Nick Mullens again and not Garoppolo, depending on how the latter feels this week.

"If he's good to go, and the doctors say he's healthy, and he can go out there and protect himself, and if Jimmy feels confident in doing it, and gives us the best chance to win, in that case, Jimmy will be out there," Shanahan said. "If Jimmy's not safe and he can't protect himself, then we'll go with Nick."

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