Despite the rampant speculation, San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan noted that he expects Jimmy Garoppolo will be the team’s starting quarterback in 2021. Shanahan added that he is hopeful Garoppolo can play again for the 49ers this season.
“I expect Jimmy to be our starter next year,” Shanahan explained, per 49ersWebZone.com. “I expect him to come and play with us this year. We have six games left. We are not out of the playoffs yet. I’ve been on a team that was three and six going into a bye week and ended up winning their division. I think we have guys on this team capable of finishing this the right way. We’ve got to do one game at a time and I hope Jimmy can come back and be a part of that, but to think that we’ve made any decisions on somebody going into the future, this isn’t the case. Jimmy has won a lot of games for us this year. It’s a lot harder to win games when he’s not here and I’m just hoping we can get him back.”
The 49ers Are ‘Holding Out Hope’ that Garoppolo Can Play Again This Season
Shanahan does not sound like the kind of coach that is punting on 2020. Despite facing an uphill battle to make the postseason, Shanahan believes the 49ers can still make a run and added they are “holding out hope” that Garoppolo can play again this season.
“Yeah, I’m really holding out hope that Jimmy can get back and play some games with us,” Shanahan noted, via 49ersWebZone.com. “I’m hoping that we can change a little bit of our outcomes. So, when he does come back, and hopefully a few other people are coming back for a reason, but Jimmy did have a real bad ankle injury. It’s very good that he didn’t have to have surgery because that’s what gives him a chance. I think he just got out of his boot and we’re still a little bit of ways from getting there, but that’s what I’m holding out hope for.”
The 49ers Have Been Linked to Quarterback Prospects & Veteran QBs
To be clear, the decision on Garoppolo’s future is not just up to Shanahan as general manager John Lynch makes the final call on roster moves. Shanahan may feel differently after the season depending on what other options present themselves at quarterback.
The 49ers have been linked to top quarterback prospects Zack Wilson and Trey Lance. There has also been buzz that the Niners could look to acquire a veteran like Sam Darnold or Kirk Cousins. ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler broke down the 49ers’ potential outlook at quarterback.
“Well, this is projecting a bit because the 49ers do like Jimmy G,” Fowler explained on SportsCenter. “There is a good chance he could be back next year, certainly. But if they feel that the injuries are just too much to handle and they need to move on, I’ve talked to many coaches and coordinators around the league who believe Kyle Shanahan, one of the brilliant offensive minds in the game, should go all out on a young, athletic QB instead of going the veteran route, trading for a Kirk Cousins or a Matt Ryan. Go exciting and amplify that running game with a guy who can get out wide and get weird in the NFC West and go win it.”
It will be interesting to see if Garoppolo will return to the field this season. Shanahan is doing his best to express confidence in Garoppolo’s future with the 49ers, but that does not mean the rumors are going to stop any time soon.