Jimmy Garoppolo used an expletive on Wednesday, January 5 to describe the pain in his thumb, telling the Bay Area media “F*** it, it hurts. I don’t know how else to describe it.”
But now, the San Francisco 49ers quarterback — who watched Trey Lance guide the team to the 23-7 win over the Houston Texans to elevate the ‘Niners to 9-7 overall — is attempting to fire the football in the effort to start behind center for the 49ers’ crucial Sunday, January 9 road game in Inglewood.
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And judging by the video released on Thursday afternoon, January 6, looks like the Grade 3 UCL tear in his throwing hand is healing in time for the Los Angeles Rams.
Via David Lombardi of The Athletic, the 30-year-old Garoppolo threw “several crisp passes” during warmups on Thursday next to Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara.
One clip is seen below:
But that wasn’t the only throw where it looked like Garoppolo recaptured his spin and velocity.
From Matt Barrows of The Athletic, he caught these series of throws during the Wednesday session of 49ers practice — with the velocity of Garoppolo’s throws drawing rave reviews from Pro Bowl tight end George Kittle.
His own teammates are now believing that the thumb pain has become an afterthought.
What 49er Teammates Have Said
Deebo Samuel was among the media requests by the Bay Area media following the Thursday practice session. The Pro Bowl wide receiver said he didn’t see a Jimmy G who was bothered by his thumb ailment.
“Jimmy just looks like Jimmy to me — same confidence, same throws, same balls, same energy, same everything,” Samuel said. “I don’t think he took a step backwards. It doesn’t look like to me that his thumb hurts and he’s out there doing a good job this week.”
Kittle has witnessed firsthand a big difference between Garoppolo from last week compared to what he’s seen from his quarterback during preparation for the Rams.
“I think compared to last week, I think he looks better,” Kittle said. “I don’t know what it feels like. I know chipped bones don’t feel great. I’ll just let Jimmy’s quote speak for itself. I know it hurts. So whatever he’s doing out there, I think he’s doing a really good job so far and we’ll see what happens these next couple days.”
Meanwhile, rookie running back Elijah Mitchell gave Garoppolo a more unique description of how Garoppolo has fought through the pain.
“Jimmy’s a freak,” Mitchell said. “So he just has that mentality that he can play through anything, and that’s what you’ve got to have. We’re football players, we go through injuries, so you just have to learn how to play with them sometimes.”
But there’s one man who is trying to take a conscientious approach with Garoppolo.
49ers Assistant on Jimmy G
Offensive coordinator Mike McDaniel described his quarterback as “a tough guy” and “it’s cool to see a guy try to work through pain” during his session with the media.
Yet, McDaniel added “he’s trying to be smart and he knows he has to be responsible to the football team because we’ve all worked in blood, sweat and tears to get to this point.”
On McDaniel’s end, he too has taken some cautious approaches with getting Garoppolo up to speed.
“One of the things that is one of the biggest motivating factors in deciding on Sunday is whether or not he can handle the ball,” McDaniel said. “Just like throws, we’ve had to put him through it for sure. But you try to do it in moderation so you don’t set anything back and you give the player the best chance to succeed on Sunday if he’s able to go. But we’re not really concerned about that. We’re concerned about executing our offense and making sure both quarterbacks are ready so we can handle whatever comes our way.”
Finally, for any 49er fan who is wondering if it will be Lance or Garoppolo behind center, Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area points to Garoppolo: