Chris Coduto-USA TODAY Sports

Chris Coduto-USA TODAY Sports

After everything, 49ers’ Jimmy Garoppolo could play over Trey Lance on Sunday

Rohan Chakravarthi
Dec 29, 2021 at 2:30 PM--

Well. Well. Well.

It has been a whirlwind of crazy news for the San Francisco 49ers over the past 48 hours that started when Matt Barrows of the Athletic reported that Jimmy Garoppolo was not in attendance during Monday's "bonus" practice for a non-COVID related issue.

After that, Kyle Shanahan broke the news on the Jimmy Garoppolo thumb injury, downplaying the severity, before ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that Garoppolo had a torn UCL, alongside a fracture, for which the recovery timeline is around 4-6 weeks.

Me and my co-host Marco Martinez discussed the implications of this on our podcast last night, as the news provided Trey Lance with the possibility of making his second career NFL start.

With the known recovery timeline, it seemed certain that Garoppolo was at least out for Sunday, if not for the season, since the injury was in his throwing hand.

The veteran quarterback suffered the injury late in the 2nd quarter of Thursday's game during a Denico Autry sack, but continued to play the rest of the way, throwing an interception along the way en route to a poor performance.

On Monday, along with providing the news about Garoppolo's injury, which came four days after the occurrence, Shanahan said that his quarterback would be re-evaluated Wednesday.

Prior to practice today, Garoppolo spoke with the media, downplaying the injury, and surprisingly iterating that he "definitely" could play Sunday , although it would depend on his workout with the trainers in an attempt to throw the football.

Matt Barrows reported that Garoppolo's session ended before practice even started and didn't return to the playing field, leaving Trey Lance and Nate Sudfeld as the two quarterbacks practicing Wednesday.

Safe to say, it doesn't look great for Garoppolo Sunday. In my opinion, even if he shows progress over the next few days, having a less-than-100% Garoppolo on the field could hinder this team even more, given that all of his production comes from the arm where the injury occurred.

And, for a playoff-esque matchup against the Rams in Week 18, the 49ers need to have Garoppolo show a good week of practice for him to trot out in that matchup. Otherwise, the 49ers should remain with their healthy option, and have Garoppolo serve as the emergency quarterback, since he isn't going on IR.

If Trey Lance ends up starting the next two games and the 49ers make the playoffs, it's hard to advise not riding the continuity that the rookie quarterback provides heading into the playoffs.

As I wrote yesterday, look no further than in 2020 to the 49ers' divisional rival: the Los Angeles Rams. The Rams started John Wolford for their final regular-season game against the Arizona Cardinals, and elected to start him in the playoffs, riding the continuity Wolford provided, and had Goff serve as the emergency quarterback should an injury occur to Wolford.

However, it's all about who gives the 49ers the best chance to win. If Shanahan deems that to be an injured Garoppolo, then I trust Shanahan. Regardless of who it is, the importance of continuity matters for team morale, especially going into a playoff atmosphere on the road.

I'm sure the last nugget of this interesting Garoppolo injury story has yet to drop. For now, expect Trey Lance to start against the Houston Texans. But, never say never.
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.

1 Comment

  • Mood Indigo
    "However, it's all about who gives the 49ers the best chance to win. If Shanahan deems that to be an injured Garoppolo, then I trust Shanahan." Seriously, am I to believe that Kyle knows who can run his offense better than the roiling masses of "fans" screaming for Lance to entertain them this Sunday?!
    Dec 30, 2021 at 8:06 AM

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