Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Transcripts: What Kyle Shanahan, Jimmy Garoppolo, and Richard Hightower said ahead of 49ers-Texans

Dec 29, 2021 at 1:37 PM--

The San Francisco 49ers are preparing to play the Houston Texans on Sunday. Head coach Kyle Shanahan, special teams coordinator Richard Hightower, and quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo spoke with reporters before today's practice. Here is everything they had to say.

Transcript provided by the San Francisco 49ers Communications staff.

Head Coach Kyle Shanahan

Opening comments:

"[LB Dre] Greenlaw will not practice, groin. [RB] Elijah Mitchell, he'll be limited with his knee. [DL Maurice] Mo Hurst, won't practice with his calf. Huf, [S Talanoa] Hufanga won't practice with his knee. [LB] Azeez [Al-Shaair] won't practice with his knee. [DL] D.J. Jones is limited with his ankle. [QB] Jimmy Garoppolo, the trainers are taking him out right now to see how much he can do. If he can do some, he'll be limited today. If not he won't practice, we'll try again tomorrow. Go ahead guys."

Could you clear something up? You said it was a thumb sprain on Monday and then after you said that, ESPN reporter Adam Schefter and reporter Ian Rapoport, both reported that there was more significant damage. One reported a chipped bone, another reported a fracture of the thumb. Can you kind of clear that up and whether surgery is in the future for Garoppolo?

"Yeah, I've been told he does not need surgery right now. To clear that up, the reason that was worded that way is because that's the way it was worded to me. There are three types of sprains, and he has a grade-three sprain. Since I have to give you guys more information to clear up Ian and Adam's tweet. It is a grade-three sprain. The reason they never mentioned to me a fracture is because that really didn't have much to do with it. On the third-degree sprain that he has on his UCL ligament, when that is ripped up, it pulled off a little fleck of his bone. When there's a bone that has anything off of it, you can call it a fracture, you can call it a chip, you can call it something, but that really isn't what's keeping him out. It's the third-degree sprain that he has, but because it's not moving he doesn't need surgery and he has a chance to play this week."

If QB Trey Lance does end up getting the start and we go back to his October 10 start, it seemed like it took him a while to get rid of the ball. I'm wondering if you thought that that was the case and whether in the two and a half months since then you've seen him improve and sort of the processing, the release time aspect of it?

"Yeah, unfortunately for Trey, he only got to play in one and a half game like that. And there were times in that game he held onto it too long. I didn't think it was all of it. I think there were times he got rid of it pretty fast. He'll get more playing time, more practice this week and if he plays, he'll get a whole other game and I'm sure it won't be perfect. But I think he's been doing a better job in all areas the more he has gotten practice in."

How has he approached these last few days, knowing that Jimmy's tentative and is he doing more film work, more one-on-one time with certain coaches, any extra passing on the side, Trey?

"No, I wouldn't say he is doing extra work. He's been preparing like he's going to start every week, so he's kind of developed a routine throughout this year that it's no different for him whether he is the backup or the starter. I think he's excited because he sees, early in the week, that he's got a chance, a possibility of starting and he gets to definitely start a practice today. I know he is excited for that, but his routine's the same."

I know you mentioned previously that you guys weren't going do anything with your quarterbacks in terms of COVID and separating them and things like that. Is that still the case just with Jimmy's injury and the COVID situation? Are you doing anything different on that front this week?

"Yeah, we did it just with everything. I made the decision last night, I just had us all zoom today. We had the whole team split up today. We did everything on zoom. We've been pretty fortunate with it so far just having one guy down, but just watching the world and watching everybody knowing how it's a matter of time is what it looks like. So we're just trying to be careful and keep everyone separate right now until we go outside."

I'm just wondering whether the Garoppolo injury is similar to the one that Lance had in August, which I think involved maybe a piece of the bone coming off?

"No, it's different. Trey hit on the tip of a helmet and literally chipped a bone off of it. Jimmy tore a ligament. A third-degree sprain, which is a tear. I'm trying to be right with my words so you guys don't think I'm making stuff up. I'm not a doctor. Jimmy's was more ligament damage and when a ligament gets ripped, ligaments are attached to bones I'm told and when the ligament gets ripped up, it can pull off a little bit of bone. And that's the fracture that those two guys tweeted. However you look at a fracture it technically is, but it's not about that, it's about the ligament."

Let's say Jimmy cannot play this this week. It sounds like this is an injury where maybe with more rest it could improve obviously without surgery. He could be in play for the Rams game, is this accurate?

"Yes, because he didn't break the bone, it's stable. They told me [former NFL QB] Drew Brees had one in the last few years or something and his broke and that's why he had to get surgery. Jimmy's isn't in that spot. It's stable. That's why he doesn't need surgery right now. And I think he's feeling a lot better today than he was a few days ago. That's why he has a chance this week. And with it being that case, I'm hoping it only gets better with more time, whether that's this week or the following week."

With the new protocols and I know you said you guys are just being extra careful, but does this bring up any sort of anxiety or kind of flashbacks to last year and what you guys went through at this point?

"We always get flashbacks of last year, because it was just weird the month that we spent and almost every time I talk to you guys on here, it gives me flashbacks. I think its been different with our team. Like even the first week we zoomed, back then it wasn't that big of a deal. It was just the continuous month of it and not being around each other on the road in a hotel. This week, just talking to everyone, everyone knows what's at stake. This week, everyone knows what's at stake next week. The playoffs have essentially started for us, so it's not an issue. Our team, we all don't prefer zoom. People know what's at stake with the chances of us losing guys for these games, so it wasn't a hard issue at all going zoom today."

On the running back front, you said Mitchell would be limited today and just how is he progressing? And then also, can we get an update on RB Trey Sermon?

"Trey's good to go. We got to see him last week, even though we didn't get to practice that much. He would've been able to go last week. We didn't go with that, more of a special teams decision, but I know Trey Sermon should be good to go this week and I'm hoping Elijah will."

With the passing of NFL Hall of Fame Head Coach and Broadcaster John Madden yesterday, I was curious about your thoughts about his impact on football and if you had any quick personal stories with John or you and your dad and John?

"I didn't know John personally, I know my dad did, but I don't know much about that. I would've been a much better student if it wasn't for John Madden. I spent my whole probably first 25 years of my life playing his video game all the time, which was as good of a game as it gets. And I think that's where everyone from my generation kind of knew him exactly. And then you heard him on Monday Night Football all the time. It was cool to see, like me growing up, I always watched him on TV and loved him and as I got more into coaching or the aspects of football, I'd always be like, 'why is he drawing on the screen so long? I want to hear what he's saying.' And then other new guys came when they tried to replace him and no one could entertain the normal fan as much as he could. And it seemed like they never totally did replace him for a while. And I just know how much he meant, starting with that video game, how much he meant to everyone. Hearing his voice on Monday night football and I think someone said it yesterday, but he lived as good of a football life as anyone. And without me knowing him, I would totally have to agree on that."

I realize this is medical territory, but the fact that Jimmy could function and play relatively well in the second half against the Titans, I guess some adrenaline had to do with that, but does that suggest he could do, from what you've been told, does that suggest he could do something similar this Sunday?

"Yeah, since I'm not a doctor either, that's the exact same question I asked. They're positive with it being that because it wasn't fully broken in some of the areas, comparing to quarterbacks in the past, that he has a chance. But they said the second half was completely off adrenaline. Jimmy's a very tough guy and when you're that amped up and we've had guys do that before, not necessarily with their thumb, but other stuff. I've had guys finish games and then you end up finding that they have an ACL too. So the adrenaline those guys have in the heat of battles is different. But that gives you some hope, but they quickly told me that it was real impressive that he made it through that game."

Do you feel the team is better equipped to weather any potential Garoppolo absence than in the past?

"I'd like to say that. We'll see. We still have to do the same stuff. We have to score more points than the other team. And the best way of doing that is us not turning it over and getting turnovers. I watched a really good team go in there last week with the Texans real down and I thought the Chargers went up and down the field their first four drives. I think it went touchdown, touchdown, field goal, they had 12 points to show for those three scores. And then the fourth one, they went right down and they threw a pick. Then I think they had one drive in the third quarter and I think two in the fourth. I think we can handle anybody being hurt, but you still have to go out and play good football to get a win. And it's not just the quarterback, it's everybody."

What do you see from the Texans and how much is there to going up against a team that potentially doesn't have much left to play for, other than playing spoiler for teams that are looking at much more to play for?

"I would love it if I watched the tape and felt like they were playing like they didn't have much to play for. Then that would be really advantageous for us. But all you have to do is turn on the tape and it quickly, you don't think about that stuff at all. The Chargers are a very good team at all phases and they had everything to play for and they went in there and got beat pretty good. You watch some of the other games the Texans have played previous to that, I actually think they looked better in those games than they did versus the Chargers. They had so many guys down versus the Chargers that they were just playing with heart and they were fortunate enough to make some plays on offense and get some big turnovers that killed the Chargers. So I see a team that is really playing hard, everybody on it, it looks like there's not a choice for that. I think this team, it's not a surprise what they did last week and I think that's why they're playing better on offense too and I think they'll surprise some people next year."

There's obviously always a sense of urgency on your team, but you mentioned it earlier, is it really a playoff mentality amongst the team and your staff at this point?

"Definitely. I don't know the exact numbers. The one thing I do know is if we win both of the games that we're in. I know it's going to be hard if we lose any. So not taking it past that, you look at it as if you lose your season is over and if you win, it keeps going. And that's, to me, the definition of the playoffs. So our players are aware of that and that's why we have to make sure we take care of business."

Special Teams Coordinator Richard Hightower

With the P Mitch Wishnowsky situation, how much can you game plan or how does it affect your game plan not having him during the week, but knowing he potentially could be back and things that maybe you want to do? How does that maybe change things for you this week?

"Yeah, not much. Mitch has been with us, you know, going on three years now, so he knows the system. He knows everything that we do. And he's in the zoom meetings. We went zoom today and he's been in all the meetings by zoom. So he's locked in. He's good to go. He's ready to go in terms of a mental standpoint. I don't think it'll affect the game plan much."

Did you guys make a move at the punter position to have someone ready to go in case Mitch isn't available? Who is it and why did that person get selected?

"We made a move with [P] Colby Wadman. He is on the practice squad and we like him because he has game experience. He has a good leg. He's done well in the league. He's started 28 games. Really good quality punter with experience. We've actually played him twice, whether it be regular season or preseason. And then we were in camp with him at Denver, so got a chance to be around him and really see him up close and personal for a while. But he's done well in those two games. He's punted in this stadium before and he's a pro's pro and he's got a good reputation."

Mitch obviously does a lot for you guys. And here we are with two weeks left in the season. Where is he as far as his leg and whether that's suffered fatigue at this stage and is that a concern heading into the rest of the year?

"No concern with Mitch. You guys all know how we all feel about Mitch. He's a pro and he'll be ready to go if he's available. But he's one of those guys where mentally, nothing really bothers him. He's a stud in that way. So if he ever has a bad play, he always bounces back. If he has a good play, then he tries to have a better play. So I think he'll be fine."

QB Jimmy Garoppolo

How do you feel and do you think knowing your own hand and body the way you do, do you think there's a chance that you'd be able to play on Sunday?

"Yeah, definitely. I think just, I mean I played the entire game with it basically, so it's really just about being able to grip the ball, do the things I normally do. We're going to go test this out today, see how it feels and go from there. But yeah, I feel confident in it."

Why do you feel confident in it and how did it just feel in the days after the game, once the adrenaline wore off?

"Christmas made it feel a little better, I'll say. I mean, it's a torn ligament though, so it is what it is. Kind of the pain, it's not going anywhere, so I know what that feels like. But it's just about being confident, going out there and being able to do what I normally do with the football. So we'll see where it gets us, but I feel good right now with it."

How difficult was it to play with that in the second half?

"I mean, pretty difficult. If you can imagine not being able to use your thumb very much, just the feel of the ball that you normally feel. Can't really grip it the same way and throw it the same way. But I felt like as the game went on, I kind of slowly started to adjust to it and my throwing style actually changed a little bit just to compensate for it."

Head coach Kyle Shanahan on Monday had mentioned specifically the third quarter throw. Was that type of throw particularly difficult with the thumb and then why didn't you mention it after the game? You didn't have the greatest game, but you did have a thumb injury. Why not sort of use that to kind of explain what may have gone on?

"Well, I mean, for multiple reasons, just that's just not me. Even when it happened on the sideline, I tried to be low key about it and just tell the trainers. But I knew there was cameras and everything. I wasn't trying to put that out there. It's not about me, it's about the team, honestly. And that's kind of my mindset. And as cliche as that sounds, that's how I kind of play. And so it was one of those things, just the one, the beginning of the second half couldn't really pull it down and save that throw like I usually do so it sailed a little bit. But all those things, I think as a quarterback you're supposed to be out there. As a quarterback, it's my team and I'm supposed to be out there and that's kind of the mindset I've always had."

Kyle mentioned the other day that it happened on the sack, the Tennessee Titans defensive end Denico Autry sack there toward the end of the second quarter. Can you walk us through, like, did your thumb get tangled? Did you land on it funny? What exactly happened?

"Yeah, he kind of, [Tennessee Titans OLB] Bud Dupree I'm pretty sure it was, was coming from behind me, kind of grabbed me from behind. If you can imagine I was holding the ball and he kind of hip tossed me using my thumb. And so, and then we landed on my thumb on top of that. So it was kind of the perfect storm for a thumb injury, but that's football. Stuff happens out there and you've just got to move on and that's what I tried to do out there."

That was actually what I was going to ask. Kyle mentioned there's a sense of urgency around the facility now, that it's a playoff mentality. How do you feel about the energy in the locker room at this point?

"Good, good. Definitely better than it was after the game. I think guys got away for a couple of days, got to enjoy Christmas and it's playoff atmosphere now. Now it's for real. And you know, it has been for a while now, but now the chips are really on the table. So it's an excited locker room, I'll say. Guys are confident right now. I know everything happened last week, but guys are confident just in the team that we have and we know what we can do."

Have you actually tried to throw since the game or will today be the first time you attempt it?

"No. Today will be the first day. We've been just trying to tack it down as much as possible, get some of that swelling out. Just trying to be cautious with it, but yeah today we'll get out there, go throw it around and see how it feels."

Obviously we're back on zoom and you guys have been doing meeting via zoom. Is there any like anxiety or flashbacks to last year, even though you know it's not quite that bad? Has that come up at all for you guys?

"You definitely get the feeling, especially the first couple days of doing zoom again. I think just with COVID and everything you've got to do what you've got to do as far as protocols go. But I think just as a football team, we enjoy being around each other. We enjoy being in the locker room, talking to each other, messing around, all that good stuff and it's just hard to do it on zoom. That slight delay really makes things a little awkward."

You may have seen that general manager John Lynch mistakenly liked a tweet saying that the 49ers should leave you in Nashville. What was your reaction when you saw that the first time and did he call you to clear things up?

"Yeah. John did. John's first class. Always has been, always will be. I'm sure he didn't do it on purpose, but whatever social media mistake, stuff happens. I trust John and John's been nothing but good to me since I've been here and I don't see him changing anytime soon."

Kyle described it as a grade-three sprain, which is a very serious sprain. How much are you going to be able to work with the training staff, the coaching staff, and figure out that if you aren't up to the level where you can spin the ball the way you want, then maybe the better option would be QB Trey Lance to start this game? How are you going to approach that from the mindset of you wanting to play, but also having to put the team first?

"I think that, I don't know, it kind of comes natural to me. You know, I always put the team first. As much as you want to look out for yourself and do what's right for you, team comes first. I've lived my whole life like that. So I don't think that'll change, but I think it's just a matter of being on the same page with me, the coaches, the trainers. We'll see how it looks today. If it looks good, it looks good. If it looks bad, it looks bad. It's just kind of one of those things you've got to test it out and go through it. But until we do that, it'll be hard to say. But yeah, we'll all be on the same page and we'll do the right think for the team."


Facebook Comments

More San Francisco 49ers News

Transcripts: Everything Kyle Shanahan, Jimmy Garoppolo said ahead of 49ers-Saints Week 12 matchup

By Site Staff
Nov 25

San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan and quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo spoke with reporters after Friday's practice, providing final updates ahead of the team's Week 12 matchup against the New Orleans Saints. Here is everything they had to say. Transcript provided by the San Francisco 49ers Communications staff. Head Coach Kyle Shanahan Opening Comments: "Alright, the injuries. [DL Arik] Armstead is doubtful. [WR] Deebo [Samuel], questionable. That's all we got." What has Armstead been doing to be able to elevate him from out the previous weeks to doubtful? "He just keeps passing every test and today was his first day to get into practice, so it was a big step

Transcripts: Kyle Shanahan, Jimmy Garoppolo, other 49ers react to 13-0 win vs. Saints

By Site Staff
Nov 27

San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan, quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, and others spoke with reporters after Sunday's 13-0 win against the New Orleans Saints. Here is everything they had to say. Transcript provided by the San Francisco 49ers Communications staff. 49ers Head Coach Kyle Shanahan Opening Comments: "Alright guys, injuries. [RB] Elijah [Mitchell] did not return, I think a possible sprained MCL. [OL] Spencer Burford left with an ankle, he didn't return. [RB Christian] McCaffrey left with a knee irritation, came back. [WR] Deebo [Samuel] with a quad contusion, he came back." Is that the same sprained MCL for Elijah? "No, a different

Transcripts: Jimmy Garoppolo, DeMeco Ryans, Chris Foerster preview 49ers-Dolphins Week 13 matchup

By Site Staff
Dec 1

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans, and offensive line/run game coordinator Chris Foerster spoke with reporters after Thursday's practice. The team is preparing for its Week 13 matchup against the Miami Dolphins. Here is everything they had to say. Transcript provided by the San Francisco 49ers Communications staff. QB Jimmy Garoppolo I know you want to score as many points as possible every game, but sometimes you have games where bigger numbers are needed. 2019 in New Orleans for example, is that the type of game that you're kind of anticipating this week and how much do you talk about it? "It's really not talked about a whole ton. I think as an offense, you

What Kyle Shanahan said the day after 49ers' Week 12 win vs. Saints

By Site Staff
Nov 28

San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan spoke with reporters via a conference call on Monday, the day after the team's 13-0 win over the New Orleans Saints. Here is everything he had to say. Transcript provided by the San Francisco 49ers Communications staff. Opening Comments: "Alright guys, injuries from the game. [RB] Elijah [Mitchell] has an MCL sprain. It wasn't the news we were looking for. He'll be out longer than that, most likely six-to-eight weeks. [RB Christian] McCaffrey has some knee irritation, we'll manage him


Trending News

Share 49ersWebzone