Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

49ers’ Kyle Juszczyk: ‘As long as Jimmy’s healthy, I think he’s our guy’

Jul 20, 2021 at 11:57 PM--

Kyle Juszczyk is going to support whoever is lined up under center for the San Francisco 49ers. The plan is for quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to be that guy when the team travels to Detroit for Week 1. However, San Francisco planned for the future, surrendering future draft picks to trade up to No. 3 overall for Trey Lance.

The 49ers own a championship-caliber roster. Garoppolo has led the team to a Super Bowl before, so it's easy to conclude that the team's best chance of getting there again is with the veteran.

San Francisco's Pro Bowl fullback joined the Ross Tucker Football Podcast this week and was asked about his team's quarterback situation. It's a topic that Juszczyk has grown used to discussing at length. Most 49ers players probably have. It will be one of the more intriguing storylines of training camp, which kicks off next week.

Garoppolo staying healthy and remaining on the football field would go a long way towards the 49ers reaching their goal this season. The situation might be different with a rookie leading the offense.

"I'm a realistic guy, and I know the numbers," Juszczyk told Tucker. "Correct me if I'm wrong. I don't think there's been a rookie quarterback that's won a Super Bowl, so I'm aware of that. My thought is that as long as Jimmy's healthy, I think he's our guy."

Garoppolo starting all season would provide Lance with extra time to fully grasp head coach Kyle Shanahan's offense. Of course, it would also mean a lack of live reps for the inexperienced 21-year-old quarterback who has played in just one game in the last 18 months.

"That doesn't mean that there's not a place for Trey to contribute in year one," Juszczyk continued. "My thought process really is that if Trey's out there, there's something that he's doing right during the week that Kyle sees, and that whatever he's doing is going to help us win."

Garoppolo needs to stay healthy to hold onto the starting job. There is nothing wrong with a little training camp competition. Players can thrive on it. However, Garoppolo hasn't been able to stay healthy during his NFL career. The quarterback has been sidelined for 23 games over the past three seasons. He missed 10 games in 2020, and San Francisco limped its way to just six wins.

Garoppolo is 24-9 as the 49ers' starting quarterback, including the team's run to a Super Bowl appearance during the 2019 season. When healthy, he is a winner.

"My thought and my hope is that Jimmy's ballin' but so is Trey during practice, and we can find ways to implement him into the offense and help us win games," Juszczyk added. "So, that's just what I'm hoping for, and trying not to think about what the implications are, what it would really take for [Lance] to be the full-time starter. That most likely means either Jimmy's not playing well, which means the team's not doing well, or that means Jimmy's hurt, which we saw last year what happened when Jimmy was hurt."

You can listen to the entire conversation with Juszczyk below.

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