NFL analyst for NBC Sports and former pro quarterback himself, Chris Simms, is continuing to release his 2021 Top 40 QB rankings this month.
While he has dropped in the rankings, he is one spot above Pittsburgh Steelers signal-caller, Ben Roethlisberger.
Simms’s main reasoning behind Garoppolo’s decline is his injury-plagued season(s).
“Availability is an issue,” Simms explains his thought process on Garoppolo’s ranking. “Let’s just start right there. … It’s the first thing you have to think about. It’s why the 49ers drafted a quarterback in the first round. … Jimmy G does a lot of good things. I don’t want to totally crap on him here. It’s not about that, OK? Because there are a lot of good things.”
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Garoppolo’s Injury Track Record
Garoppolo, who will turn 30 next season, has struggled to stay healthy over his four years in the Bay Area, missing a total of 33 games.
When Jimmy Garoppolo is available as a starter, San Francisco’s record jumps to 24-9, and without him, the 49ers hold just a 6-17 record. While winning is everything, being healthy and actually in the lineup means much more.
And that’s where the problem lies with Jimmy G. He suffered two high-ankle sprains in 2020 which limited him to just six games last year and left him useless to the team.
Here’s a look at Garoppolo’s injury track record over the past five seasons of his NFL career:
2016: AC Joint Sprain Week 2
2018: ACL Week 3
2020: High Ankle Sprain Week 2
Garoppolo claims to be back to 100% healthy, which has shown in OTAs (organized team activities).
Simms Cites the Main Problem Outside of Garoppolo’s Injuries
Outside of Jimmy Garoppolo’s injuries, there is one other problem.
According to Simms, the 49ers’ record declining without Garoppolo is unacceptable because the team has plenty of talent on the field to work with, except for the backup quarterback position.
“The problem with the 49ers and why that stat looks so crazy sometimes is the 49ers have dropped the ball on good backup quarterbacks,” Simms continued. “They’ve had crap there. So, they’ve lost a lot of football games that he’s not in there just because it’s below-average backup quarterback play.”
That problem should be resolved after the Niners addressed the issue by drafting Ohio State star quarterback Trey Lance at No. 3 overall in this year’s draft. Simms has Lance in the rankings at No. 38, just above Justin Fields and Case Keenum.
The Niners gave up a lot of draft capital to move up and select Lance, but they stay have a lot of belief in Garoppolo being their starter next season.
“I’m told Garoppolo still has significant support in the 49ers building,” ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler said May 30 on SportsCenter. “…They feel like if he’s in the lineup, he’s healthy, ‘We win.'”
You can watch Simms full podcast on Garoppolo landing at No. 21 in his Top 40 QB rankings here: