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Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Will 49ers Jimmy Garoppolo practice once he’s cleared?

Marc Adams
May 18, 2022 at 12:58 PM--

Now that the Deebo Samuel drama is currently in hibernation, and the "Trey Lance isn't ready" tour has slowed some, Jimmy Garoppolo is back in the headlines. Not for any reason other than it's Jimmy Garoppolo.

I know, I know. You're sick of hearing his name. Trust me. I'm sick of hearing it and spelling it. But until the San Francisco 49ers trade Garoppolo, name him the starter, declare that Lance is the starter or decree that the beginning of training camp will be the dawning of a new era in the 49ers' quarterback room, we will continue to hear about him.

So until there is a mutual parting of the ways, writers will write about him, content creators will talk about him, reporters will continue to speculate, and the national media will continue to make things up. I apologize, in advance, for any irritation this article, or future ones I write, will bring to you. I'm not trying to annoy you. Can we still be friends?

Just this week, a lot has been written about Garoppolo, and it's only Wednesday. Rohan Chakravarthi, of 49ers Webzone, wrote yesterday, asking the question, "Should QB Jimmy Garoloppolo play another snap for the 49ers?" I'm guessing the responses to his story were passionate. He answered his own question with "a definitive no." Chakravarthi wrote, "Unless, of course, there are clear indications in training camp that Trey Lance has regressed to the point that the second-year quarterback is unplayable."

By the way, Chakravarthi writes a ton of stuff at 49ers Webzone. Go check out his work. He's not lazy like the guy who wrote the mess you're currently reading.

David Bonilla, also of 49ers Webzone (wow, those guys put out a lot of content), found this little nugget from Ryan Harris, a former offensive lineman turned broadcaster and analyst. Harris joined CBS Sports HQ to discuss the young quarterbacks of the San Francisco 49ers and Chicago Bears. On the show, Harris said, "But I'm here to tell you, after people I've talked to, everyone I've spoken to expected Jimmy Garoppolo to start [Week 1 against the Bears]," Harris said.

Wrote Bonilla, "Harris insists he continues to hear the chatter about the team's doubt in Lance's readiness and says it's not just outside speculation." Harris added, "From players I've talked to and coaches I've talked to who are at the 49ers, Trey Lance is really leaving a lot to be desired in terms of the fitness of his arm, whether or not he can digest the playbook, and can really start to process the game at a high level.

"So breaking news for you, I believe it's going to be Jimmy Garoppolo in that game with the better structure around him and having Kyle Shanahan want to create the narrative Week 1 against the Bears."

Really? Someone is working hard to keep the Lance narrative negative, while continuing to lead everyone to believe that Garoppolo may be the 49ers starting quarterback in 2022, and who knows, maybe beyond. Does Tom Brady have a son who plays quarterback? Maybe Garoppolo will get the chance to be his backup, too.

Then we have Peter King, of NBC Sports, who believes Garoppolo remaining on the roster is a "legitimate possibility."

King, a guest on The Herd with Colin Cowherd, said, "You can say whatever you want about Jimmy Garoppolo and how they carried him, he struggled, whatever. All I know is that Jimmy Garoppolo and that defense played well enough at Green Bay on a blisteringly cold night ... and they knocked Aaron Rodgers and the Packers out of the playoffs.

"You can [ask], 'What plays did Jimmy Garoppolo make in that game?' The point is that sometimes you need your quarterback to not lose the game. And last year, Jimmy Garoppolo, on several very big occasions, piloted the team, did well enough, and didn't lose the game, and they went on.

"And that's why, to me, unless somebody gives San Francisco a decent offer, I will not be surprised if they do the same thing this year (keeping Garoppolo) with one exception: I do think that unless he is simply not ready to play, I do think the starter opening day will be Trey Lance."

Well, at least King's message is a little different, saying Lance will be the starter unless he truly isn't ready.

But how does a young QB get ready? When do we reach the point where Garoppolo's presence holds Lance back? I think that time is coming, perhaps this training camp, if Garoppolo remains on the team. That's why I wrote back in March that Jimmy Garoppolo needs to move on.

And so I ask the question: Will Jimmy Garoppolo practice once he's cleared?

On Tuesday, I asked the question on Twitter, "If Jimmy Garoppolo is still on the team once the 49ers training camp begins, will he actually suit up and practice?

Here are some responses I received:

  • Brandon Peebler: "I don't think he suits up. #1 Too much of an injury risk that would make his money guaranteed. #2 They will likely ask him to restructure his contract to a lower number which he wouldn't want to do, and #3 I don't think Jimmy being on the roster in 2022 is good for the team."

  • Tee: "If Jimmy takes a restructure to stay I wouldn't be mad. Kyles's worse seasons is the QB getting hurt ( yes I know it's Jimmy) and not having a quality backup. Increases his value mid-season, and next for QB needy teams."

  • SugarRay: "Only way he touches the field with the Niners is if they redo/reduce his contract in a major way."

  • Daniel Kelly, (known to 49ers fans as the "Former NY Jets Scout, Aspiring GM and Redskins fan"): "Jimmy G will start."

  • Mickey Wrangle: "Risking 25mm when you already know his best stuff ain't good enough? No way."

  • Lucio Perez: "No. Because if he gets injured it would complicate any efforts to trade him. Move him when his rehab is over and can pass a team's physical. It's looking like the Panthers' are his best option."

I get what people are saying about the financial risk. But I'm much more worried about Lance's growth, and how Garoppolo's presence might disrupt that, as well as what having both quarterbacks might do to the locker room. One of the strengths of this 49ers team is the unity in the locker room. They can't allow that to be compromised.

So to answer my own question, will Garoppolo suit up and practice (or even play) once he's cleared to do so? Do I think he should? No. Do I think he will? Yes. Kyle Shanahan just might be willing to risk it.
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.


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