- Jimmy Garoppolo will start at quarterback when the San Francisco 49ers take on the Indianapolis Colts this weekend.
- Garoppolo has been sidelined for several weeks with a right calf injury. He was able to practice this week and cleared to start on Sunday.
- Backup quarterback Trey Lance remains sidelined with a strained knee. The Niners are hoping that he will be able to return next week.
Jimmy Garoppolo will once again be the San Francisco 49ers starting quarterback when they host the Indianapolis Colts this Sunday night. Garoppolo left the October 3 game against the Seattle Seahawks at halftime, with rookie Trey Lance taking over under center. Garoppolo was sidelined for the October 10 game against the Cardinals at Arizona and Lance played reasonably well in his first NFL start. Now, with the Niners coming off a bye week, Garoppolo has recovered from his calf injury to a significant enough degree that he’ll be able to start this weekend.
Now it is Lance who is physically unable to play. Following his first career start it was revealed that he had suffered a sprained knee during the game. He said that the injury did not give him any trouble until the night following the game when it started to become an issue. He underwent a MRI the next day which revealed a minor sprain. He has not practiced since and will be unavailable for Sunday’s game. Veteran Nate Sudfeld will once again be promoted from the practice squad to serve as Garoppolo’s backup.
Garoppolo returned to practice on Monday and took most of the first team reps the remainder of the week. San Francisco head coach Kyle Shanahan says that his quarterback is close to 100%:
“He got better each day and I see him as 100 percent now.”
As for Garoppolo, he explained the injury and his recovery timeline:
“That ‘couple of weeks’ thing was a little aggressive, came out the gate with that. I’ve done it before in the past, similar injuries to that. So, it was I just kind of knew my body and knew it was going to take a couple of weeks. It was just a little pull. It wasn’t anything too serious.”
“Pushing off of it, just those quick, little jerky movements, I guess you could say. I just didn’t want to push it too much last week, but I think during the bye week we’ve really made some big strides, so I’m happy with where it’s at.”
San Francisco now has other injury issues with an especially problematic one to starting left tackle Trent Williams. Williams is listed as ‘doubtful’ with elbow and ankle injuries. Shanahan says it was worse than originally thought:
“It’s stemming from the Cardinals game. We didn’t think it was as bad as it obviously is … He zinged it a little bit in practice on Monday and he hasn’t been able to go since. For Trent, of anybody on this team, we’ll take it all the way up to game time.”
Although many NFL media types are trying to make a ‘controversy’ out of the Niners’ QB situation there’s nothing to suggest that Garoppolo will be heading back to the bench following Lance’s return. Before Lance’s first NFL start, head coach Shanahan made clear that Garoppolo was still the team’s top quarterback:
“There’s not a quarterback battle right now. We’re going with our starting quarterback who I think is playing very well. I’m happy that he is, so Trey is not thrown into any situations he has to do too early. If he ever is thrown into that, then I know Trey will deal with that and he’ll get better as it goes, but we have a luxury where we don’t have to do that yet to Trey or to our team.”
Pressing further about the criteria to determine how much playing time Lance gets the media got this ‘non-answer’ from the coach:
“Trey’s our backup quarterback. This isn’t the preseason. We’re not just going back and forth all the time.”
Shanahan wasn’t talking specifics this week in terms of Lance’s recovery timeframe though ‘sources’ have indicated the team is hoping he’ll be able to return to practice this week and be eligible to play in the Niners 10/31 game against the Bears in Chicago.
The Niners are desperately in need of a win. After starting the season 2-0 they have lost three straight games. At BetOnline.ag, the 49ers are -4 point home favorites with the total set at 43.