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Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Mailbag: What is Brock Purdy’s status for Thursday? What is Trey Lance’s future? Is Garoppolo returning this season? And more 49ers questions answered

Marc Adams
Dec 13, 2022 at 11:40 AM

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It's a short week for the San Francisco 49ers, who travel to Seattle to play the Seahawks on Thursday night. There were some key injuries from Sunday's game, none bigger than the injury to Deebo Samuel. Fortunately, Samuel's injury was not season-ending. He could be back before the end of the regular season.

We opened up the mailbag to see what was on your mind. Let's get to your questions.

According to Rapoport, Jimmy G is expected to miss the next 3 months. Shouldn't the 49ers place him on IR and open up a roster spot? Or is Jimmy G really coming back in 6-8 weeks? Or is there more to the story that no one's reporting? - Johnny Y.

I also heard Ian Rapoport say that Jimmy Garoppolo would not be back this season, and that it's more of a three-month recovery.

If there's more to the story, it could be that Garoppolo's agent was the one who put out the news the QB might return this season. Why would he do that? I'm guessing it has to do with Garopolo's pending free-agency status. They certainly don't want another situation like last offseason when teams weren't interested in Garoppolo, due to injury.

And it could be that the 49ers were the ones who leaked the three-month recovery time to Rapoport. But if they did that, you'd think they would have put him on injured reserve already.

Does that kind of stuff go on? Yes. Is it happening here? I doubt it. The 49ers are probably just holding off on all decisions until they have more information about different players' injuries and the likelihood of their returns.

Purdy or Lance next year? - R. A. Pontes

Either Brock Purdy or Trey Lance will be the starting quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers next season. Or Garoppolo. Or Tom Brady. Or Aaron Rodgers.

That's my bold prediction. It will be one of those guys. Or considering how the 49ers lose players to injury, it could end up being all of them.

If I had to make a prediction, and my life depended on it, I'd predict Lance will be QB1 in game number one next season. I don't really believe Garoppolo will return. I'm becoming a Purdy believer, but I'm not quite there yet. You can blame Nick Mullens and Tim Rattay for that, but I still wonder if Purdy can sustain a starting quarterback level of play, as teams get more tape on him.

Rodgers isn't coming to Santa Clara. And Brady probably isn't either.

Then again, I've been wrong about the 49ers QB position several times since February. There's no reason to believe this time will be different.

Any update on Purdy's oblique injury? - Brandon G.

The 49ers listed him on the practice report on Monday (even though they didn't practice), as limited. He's considered day-to-day. That's probably good news in regard to his being available Thursday night.

If Purdy can't play, then the 49ers will start their fourth QB of the season, the ageless Josh Johnson. Jim Harbaugh would be excited about that. I doubt anyone else would be, though.

Well, the Seahawks would be.

Is there an internal problem with training staff under KS? Never seen so many injuries happen. Not just the "freak" ones - those happen- but muscle pulls are also a very big concern and seems like this training staff needs a thorough review. - KCarps

I don't think it's an internal problem, or a 49ers' problem. It's likely a combination of a player issue, and just bad luck.

Remember, this training staff is still relatively new. They were put in place because of the many injuries the players were dealing with under the old training staff.

But I will agree, this is a problem, and no one has been able to figure it out yet.

What to expect from Brock Purdy against Seattle Seahawks? - CG Ruthless

If he plays, I think Purdy will continue to play well. The Seattle crowd will be difficult to deal with, but the rookie is poised enough to handle it.

Seattle's defense isn't very good. Their running game is especially bad. And they were on the field for a long time against Carolina on Sunday. So they may be gassed before the game even starts.

Because the game is on the road, in front of a loud crowd, with a rookie QB in his third game, against a bad run defense, I would expect a heavy dose of Christian McCaffrey and Jordan Mason. I would think it might be a good game for Ty Davis-Price to be active and get some carries, but it takes a lot for a rookie to earn Shanahan's trust.

If Purdy, who has passed his previous two tests, can play well in Seattle, then I will start to come around even more.

Do we make any moves at DT due to all the injuries? - Zach M.

Does Kinlaw have a chance to come back this season? We are down to 4 DT's on the roster (Armstead, Hyder, Spence, McGill). Do we call Sheldon Richardson? - Danny L.

Shanahan said on Monday that the team is hoping to get Javon Kinlaw back in practice after the Seattle game. That doesn't mean he will play on Christmas Eve against Washington, only that they're hoping to get him practicing soon. You have to think that, considering his chronic knee issues, they will ease him back in.

With Kevin Givens (MCL sprain) expected to be out for a few weeks, I would have expected the 49ers to sign another defensive lineman. So far, I haven't seen that they have.

Where did you rank Kyle Shanahan as a HC heading into this season? Where do rank him currently? - Tyler C.

I rank him really high. Obviously, you have to put Andy Reid at the top. Or maybe Bill Belichick. When Sean Payton returns, he'll be right up there.

But I like Shanahan. Of course, there are areas he needs to improve. But he's really good.

The 49ers' fanbase, and to a certain extent, the organization, has been hard on coaches over the years. Bill Walsh was fired by Eddie DeBartolo numerous times, only to have Carmen Policy talk him out of it. George Seifert was given the Steve Young treatment (can't live up to the guy you replaced), because he wasn't Walsh and couldn't beat Dallas. Even when he did, he still wasn't given the respect he deserved. His first Super Bowl win as a head coach is barely discussed because it was considered to be with the team Walsh built.

And Seifert still isn't in the Hall of Fame, even though his winning percentage (.648) is higher than that of Dick Vermeil (.524), who recently was inducted.

Steve Mariucci was fired after taking the 49ers to the playoffs and losing to John Lynch's Buccaneers. And who could forget Harbaugh's "mutual parting?"

Be grateful for the coach you have, 49ers fans. It could be worse (see Tomsula, Jim).

I know it's based on 1 play, but did BCB look like Mahomes on that throw to Bo? Dodging a sack on a rollout and then flinging it to the sideline. Noodle-armed Mahomes is what he looks like out there. Thoughts and WAY too early reaction lol. - Mikhieal

There were at least three throws that actually made me yell, "Holy crap, what a throw." Two of them were the deep touchdown passes.

The other one was the play Mikhieal is referencing. That was just a great play all around. And yes, it was a little Mahomes-like.

Hey Marc, what team's practice squad do you think Trey Lance will play for next season? - BCB

Wow, that's a low blow.

Lance will not be on any team's practice squad next season. He'll either be the 49ers starting QB, or the 49ers backup QB. I would still consider Lance the frontrunner to be the starter, but we'll see how this season ends. If Purdy keeps playing the way he's playing, I would expect an open competition. If Purdy keeps playing as he is, and wins the Super Bowl, there will be no competition, and Lance will be the backup. That may happen even if the 49ers just make it to the Super Bowl.

It is interesting to consider that, while Purdy technically has only one win as a starter, he's essentially 2-0. Lance is essentially 1-2, unless you count the Seattle game in 2021, when he played the second half only.

But I don't put the two losses on Lance. In his first start (the Arizona game last season), the entire team was terrible. And in the Chicago game back in September, the team played poorly as a whole. Remember the busted coverage that allowed Dante Pettis to score a long touchdown? And don't forget that Samuel fumbled at the 12 yard-line, on the team's first drive. So that loss wasn't only on Lance.

I just think it's ironic that for all the time and hype spent on Lance, Purdy will soon have more NFL playtime than Lance, and already has enjoyed more success.

Thanks for all your questions. We'll be back on Monday with a new mailbag, hopefully answering questions following a division title.
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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