Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Mike McDaniel’s crystal ball: 49ers coach predicts Jimmy Garoppolo throws the ball well in practice

Jan 19, 2022 at 3:11 PM--

San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator Mike McDaniel is not a fortune teller. However, he did peer into the crystal ball while speaking with reporters before Wednesday's practice.

The 49ers are preparing to face their next playoff opponent—the Green Bay Packers—at Lambeau Field. However, their quarterback is banged up. Jimmy Garoppolo has been playing through a torn ligament and chipped bone in his right thumb. Then he suffered a right shoulder sprain during Sunday's playoff win against the Dallas Cowboys.

For a right-handed quarterback, that is problematic.

Garoppolo is still expected to start against the Packers. His offensive coordinator, Mike McDaniel, spoke with reporters before Wednesday's practice. What does he expect to see from Garoppolo as the team prepares for the cold road game?

"With the way Jimmy takes care of himself, and at this point in the season, it would be like pulling teeth to get him not to do everything he can to perform at his highest level," McDaniel responded. "You know, it's a bump and a bruise that, for him, is a big deal. But for the San Francisco 49ers, their fanbase, and us, we can all count on Jimmy doing whatever it takes so he can perform at the level he needs to on Saturday.

"So, I'm not too concerned. The practice is yet to happen, but if I was a crystal ball reader, which I declare that I'm not, I would anticipate him throwing it well today and us moving forward from there."

Garoppolo has noted that everyone is playing hurt at this point in the season. Players are just pushing through the pain to advance in the postseason.

"It's football. You get banged up all the time," tight end George Kittle said on Wednesday when asked about his quarterback. "You land weird, and you get hit weird. You wouldn't be this far into your career if you just kind of said, 'I've got to tap out. I'm sore,' or 'That hurt a little bit too much.' Football's a tough sport. You've got to grind through things. You just kind of have to bite the bullet and say, 'This is going to really suck for the rest of the game, or maybe the rest of the season, but I'm just going to deal with it.'

"Jimmy, he could have tapped out and said, 'Hey, I can't go anymore. You guys are on your own,' but he didn't. He took a week off and came back and played at a very high level since. That's what you appreciate about him. He doesn't give up, just keeps grinding, and he's continually leading this team to victories and giving us opportunities to play more football."

The 49ers and Packers kick off from Lambeau Field on Saturday at 5:15 p.m. PT (7:15 p.m. CT), with the winner advancing to the NFC Championship Game.

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