The Seattle Seahawks’ pathway to winning the NFC West may have gotten a bit easier as San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo has been ruled out for the remainder of the season with a broken foot, per Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio. It is never good to see serious injuries, and Garoppolo’s absence could have a major impact on the division standings.
“Kyle Shanahan told reporters after the game that the [left] foot is broken and Garoppolo is expected to miss the rest of the year,” Florio detailed during a December 4, 2022 edition of NBC’s “Football Night in America.” “So they’ve got Brock Purdy, Jacob Eason will be the backup. They may look to add someone else for the stretch run.”
The Niners were still able to secure a convincing victory over the Dolphins with rookie Brock Purdy under center. The news means that former Seahawks quarterback Jacob Eason (who has been on the 49ers practice squad) will now likely be the team’s backup. San Francisco is also signing Josh Johnson from the Broncos practice squad.
The 49ers continue to have unfortunate injury luck as the team’s initial starting quarterback Trey Lance was ruled out for the season in September with an ankle injury. Garoppolo has battled injuries throughout his career as the veteran has now missed significant time in three of the last five seasons.
Heading into Week 14, the Seahawks are one game back from the 49ers for the NFC West lead. Seattle squares off against San Francisco on December 15 in a game that will have significant implications on who wins the division.
Eason Is the Favorite to Be the 49ers QB2
It will be interesting to see if Eason will see the field for the Niners this season. Eason was part of the Seahawks quarterback competition this offseason but appeared to be a distant third behind Geno Smith and Drew Lock. The former Seattle quarterback will now have competition for the QB2 role after the 49ers added Johnson.
“Jacob Eason is on the practice squad so he’s the most likely QB2 for now, but they’ll be scouring the market for somebody to compete with him or just take the spot,” The Athletic’s Tim Kawakami tweeted on December 4.
Smith Has Been the Healthiest QB in the NFC West
Garoppolo joins the Rams’ Matthew Stafford as NFC West quarterbacks who are likely out for the remainder of the season. Stafford was placed on Injured Reserve and can technically return after missing a minimum of four games. Yet, this appears to be unlikely given the Rams are no longer in postseason contention.
Cardinals signal-caller Kyler Murray has also battled injuries this season making Smith the healthiest quarterback in the division. After Smith led the Seahawks to a game-winning drive over the Rams, DK Metcalf emphasized that the team already had faith in the quarterback.
“The same thing I’ve been preaching since day one. He’s been showing the same thing since day one,” Metcalf told reporters on December 4. “His poise, [being] a leader, a great competitor. Whenever we have the ball in two minutes [left] and the game’s on the line, I’ve got my faith in him, [offensive coordinator Shane Waldron], everybody out there on offense [and] defense. I just trust in this team a lot.”