When Jimmy Garoppolo suffered his regular season-ending foot injury against the Miami Dolphins in Week 12, the San Francisco 49ers held the door open for a possible return to the field in time for the NFC Championship game at the earliest, or maybe by the Super Bowl if the bone needed a little extra time to heal.
While that outcome appeared to be a kind assessment, as few expected the 49ers to be in position to make the NFC Championship game with their third-string quarterback under center, Brock Purdy has taken the opportunity by storm, and San Francisco is now set to face off against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 21 for a spot in the final game of the 2022 NFL season. When asked about Garoppolo’s status heading into the South Philly-based game on Monday, Shanahan explained that he wouldn’t know until X-rays were done on Tuesday.
“I don’t think so. I think he gets the X-Ray tomorrow to see how things are going, I believe so,” Shanahan said via 49ers Webzone. “But still, same as last week, I’d be very surprised if he was out there this week.”
Asked for a follow-up on Garoppolo’s status on Wednesday, Shanahan confirmed that the X-Ray did happen, but unfortunately, he isn’t ready to go, telling reports, “I don’t expect to have him this week.”
Trey Lance has Been Engaged With the San Francisco 49ers
Surprisingly, Garoppolo and Brock Purdy weren’t the only players Shanahan was asked about on Monday, as one reporter wanted to see how involved Trey Lance has been in the team’s weekly activities while recovering from a Week 2 ankle injury.
“Jimmy’s always doing his rehab and stuff and on a different schedule, but Trey hasn’t missed one meeting, and he is in everything, and he is really doing an awesome job helping out Brock through all this stuff,” Shanahan said.
This news shouldn’t be too much of a surprise, as Shanahan mentioned that Lance has been traveling with the team since their Mexico matchup with the Arizona Cardinals. Initially selected with the third pick in the 2021 NFL draft, a pick John Lynch had to give up multiple future picks to acquire, Lance is now expected to take part in a quarterback competition in the summer of 2023, with Heavy’s resident former GM Randy Mueller declaring that the Niners could be ripe for a good ole fashioned QB competition.
Kyle Shanahan Explains why Brock Purdy Stuck Over Nate Sudfeld
While Nick Sirianni has extensive experience watching Brock Purdy’s tape due to his friend, Matt Cambell, coaching him in college, the 49ers almost had an inside guy with extensive experience in the Eagles locker room in Nate Sudfeld, who was on the team from 2017-20. Fortunately, the 49ers found themselves in a position where they didn’t need to keep Sudfeld on their roster coming out of training camp, as Garoppolo returned to the team on a reworked contract and Purdy earned a spot on the team that has paid incredible dividends ever since.
When asked about what Purdy did to prove he deserved a spot on the active roster over Sudfeld, Shanahan laid it out to reporters on Monday.
“When he first started out he got such few reps because of how much reps we were giving to [QB] Trey [Lance] and how much we were given to Nate, but every time he got his one or two reps in practice, just how decisive he was and got the ball to the right spot and did it aggressively. Never seemed unsure of anything and so he kept earning more reps and the more reps we gave him the more he continued to look the same and didn’t take any steps back and then he carried it over to some of the preseason games. So by the end of that it was pretty easy to see how Brock was coming and we knew we wanted to keep him on the roster and not risk him going to practice squad, so it was a decision we had to make.”
In the end, Lynch and Shanahan made the right call, as Purdy is a finalist for Offensive Rookie of the Year thanks to his exceptional play, and that likely wouldn’t have happened if he was released coming out of camp, especially if he was claimed by another team off of waivers.