Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

‘The guy wins’: John Lynch addresses Jimmy Garoppolo criticism, says 49ers thinking big picture with QB’s health

Oct 8, 2020 at 8:43 AM--

Jimmy Garoppolo is going to be very important to the San Francisco 49ers' success. That much was known heading into the season. After Sunday night's performance by Nick Mullens against the Philadelphia Eagles, maybe it is known a little bit more now.

The 49ers are eagerly awaiting the return of their franchise quarterback. You can count John Lynch among those who were excited to see Garoppolo back on the practice field on Wednesday afternoon. The general manager knows his quarterback has skeptics, but he also knows the 49ers' chances of victory increase with Garoppolo on the field.

Lynch joined the Huddle and Flow podcast with Steve Wyche and Jim Trotter this week and discussed Garoppolo.

"The guy wins," Lynch said. "That's all he's done throughout his career. And I understand he's been on good teams, but he finds a way to win. And you can nitpick, and you can talk about decisions he might make, things he can't do, but the bottom line in his business is, do you win or do you not? Jimmy has shown, ever since he stepped on the field with the Patriots, his teams typically end up on the right side of the ledger. We've always felt that way about him."

Last season was the first time Garoppolo started all 16 games in an NFL season, and the quarterback led the 49ers to a division championship and a deep playoff run that ended with a trip to the Super Bowl.

Garoppolo was 14-of-16 for 131 yards, two touchdowns, and a passer rating of 140.4 during the first half of the Week 2 matchup against the New York Jets before being forced to leave the game with a high-ankle sprain.

"Nationally, there seems to be a lot of people (who are critical)," Lynch continued, "and that's why you get paid the big bucks at that position. I think it's something Jimmy understands. I do think it's important for people -- and we all know this is a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately business. But this is a guy, with seven minutes left in the Super Bowl, was about to become the MVP, and we didn't find a way to close. Now, that sticks with Jimmy. It sticks with our entire organization."

The hope is that Garoppolo can return to the field soon — perhaps even this weekend against the Miami Dolphins. The 49ers will continue to be cautious with their quarterback, though, because it is a long season, and the schedule gets increasingly difficult after this weekend.

"Hopefully, we get Jimmy back," Lynch added. "His ankle is responding well. You have to kind of think big-picture on these decisions. Jimmy, one thing I love about him, he's not a typical quarterback mentality. He's a former linebacker, and he plays like that. Jimmy wouldn't have missed any games had he had his Struthers, but you don't want to put a guy out there who's compromised because that tends to lead to bigger injuries.

"We want him right when he's back, and hopefully, that's this week against the Dolphins."

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