Jimmy Garoppolo’s prospects of returning to the playing field were impacted dramatically by injury news coming out of the Bay Area Monday.
After the game, Garoppolo was emotional, saying “it’s old” to receive news of another injury. Several issues have kept the quarterback from making 23 starts over a 52-game regular season stint with San Francisco since signing a massive five-year deal in 2018.
However, the injury-plagued signal caller was also optimistic during the postgame press conference Sunday, predicting that he had not ruptured his Achilles’ tendon and that the calf problem would hopefully keep him out only “a couple of weeks.”
As it turns out, Garoppolo may not have been optimistic enough.
Garoppolo’s Calf Injury Proves Less Damaging Than Expected
Tests on Garoppolo’s injured leg revealed a calf contusion, consisting only of bruising and absent any structural damage.
Niners’ head coach Kyle Shanahan told media members Monday that the news leaves light at the end of the tunnel that Garoppolo may return to the field Sunday, October 10 against the division-leading Arizona Cardinals (4-0). However, that outcome remains far from a certainty.
Cam Inman, of the Bay Area News Group, tweeted more details out of San Francisco’s media session on Monday.
“Jimmy Garoppolo ‘has a chance’ to play for #49ers Sunday at Arizona,” Inman tweeted. “Shanahan: ‘It wasn’t as bad as we thought it might have been. Today he’s in a lot of pain and still sore. Wednesday, if it’s (getting) better, he has a good chance.'”
The following is an expanded quote Shanahan gave reporters on the topic during a conference call Monday.
“It does mean he has a chance,” Shanahan said of Garoppolo’s prospects to play against the Cardinals. “It wasn’t as bad as what we thought it might have been. Today, he is still in a lot of pain, he’s still sore. Hopefully, by the time he comes in Wednesday, if it’s getting better, then he’ll have a good chance. If it hasn’t improved at all by Wednesday, it will probably be a little longer.”
Backup Trey Lance is Pulling for Speedy Garoppolo Return
The primary reason for that is rookie backup Trey Lance, who looked competent, if not always comfortable, against the Seahawks in the second half of Sunday’s loss. Lance was 9 of 18 passing, throwing for 157 yards and 2 touchdowns. He also carried the ball 7 times for 41 yards on the ground.
However, it was Garoppolo’s replacement who sounded most anxious to have the veteran starter back in the lineup as quickly as possible. David Lombardi, of The Athletic, tweeted the rookie’s comments after the loss Sunday.
“Trey Lance: ‘I’m hoping Jimmy can be back as soon as possible, because he does a lot for me personally and the team,” Lombardi tweeted.
All-Pro tight end George Kittle, who overcame a calf injury of his own to play against the Seahawks, offered reassuring words following Sunday’s loss regardless of which quarterback takes up under center for the Niners next week in Arizona.
“I’m still really excited,” Kittle said. “The sky’s not falling. There’s not a bear in the building. We played really, really well in the first half but couldn’t execute down the stretch.