Jimmy Garoppolo spoke to the media Friday for the first time since he tore his ACL. Here’s a transcript.
Q: What have the last few weeks been like for you?
GAROPPOLO: It has been different, obviously. Different schedule and everything. Just trying to get this knee back to normal, get all the swelling out and get the movement going.
Q: How much in the days after did you spend second-guessing what you did during that play when you tore your ACL?
GAROPPOLO: Initially, you think about the stuff. You think of every situation possible, plays before, all that stuff. Eventually, you get to a point where you have to accept it and start moving on.
Q: What did the MRI reveal? Was there any other damage besides the ACL?
GAROPPOLO: Yeah, there were a couple little things, nothing too serious. The ACL was the only one that got torn, so that was a good sign. They fixed up a couple little things. It has been going really good. The stitches are out, the scar healed up quickly so we can move on to the pool stuff and really move forward right now.
Q: Is there a prognosis as far as when you’re off the crutches and able to throw?
GAROPPOLO: We have only talked about the crutches so far. I’ve got like two more weeks, something like that, then I can start walking again. Looking forward to that. But, as far as throwing as stuff, it’s kind of a feel thing they keep telling me. It’s just how you progress through the process.
Q: What has been the most challenging part of this?
GAROPPOLO: The crutches. It sucks. But, the overall acceptance of it initially. It was tough. I’ve never had a serious injury like this. It’s different. But, we’re very positive now. I’ve got Jet (Jerick McKinnon) going through it with me. We’re kind of helping one another. It’s good.
Q: How helpful has it been having someone to go through this with?
GAROPPOLO: I’d never wish it on anybody, but it’s nice having Jet there with me. We do very similar exercises. He’s a little ahead of me now. I’m trying to play a little catch up with him. It’s nice to have someone there with you the whole time.
Q: How have you been able to contribute to the team during this?
GAROPPOLO: I try to go to as many meetings as I can. Obviously, our schedules are a little different with the rehab and stuff like that. Any input that I can put in to help the guys. If they have any questions at all, I try to be as helpful as I can. Just be a positive reinforcement in the locker room.
Q: What’s it like for you to watch game day now?
GAROPPOLO: It’s strange. The first couple, I was down in LA watching them on the couch. The last one, I got to sit in the box and watch it. It’s a completely different perspective. You feel like a coach almost. It’s little things like that where I try to find silver linings of how I could take advantage of this extra time. I never will be given time like this again. You have to take advantage of what you’re given.
Q: Are you looking forward to seeing how you come back from this?
GAROPPOLO: Yeah. It will be a good test, for sure. It’s a long process, so you can’t look too far ahead and start thinking about things that don’t matter right now. Just staying locked in every day trying to get better. I know it sounds cliché, but it’s a long process, and if we keep getting better every day we’ll be OK.
Q: Do you think you need to play more cautiously in the future?
GAROPPOLO: I’ve always been pretty cautious. That was kind of the freak accident of the play. I don’t know if it was instinct or what to cut back like that, but it is what it is. Your style of play, this maybe will alter it initially, but eventually everybody keeps telling me you’ll get back to how your legs were before, just as strong if not stronger. It’s all about putting in the work right now, coming back stronger than I was before, mentally being better and just overall being better.
Q: Some people say you’re injury prone because you’ve played 10 games in the NFL and separated your shoulder and torn your ACL. Does that annoy you?
GAROPPOLO: No. If someone is saying I’m injury prone, they don’t really know what they’re talking about. I’ve played sports my whole life and have only had two injuries. It’s weird. I’m not used to it, that’s for sure. It’s not something I want to get used to. I want to be out there with the guys battling, preparing throughout the week. We’ll get back there next year.
Q: Is there any other way you can contribute now? Do you have conversations with C.J.?
GAROPPOLO: I try to. You have to pick your spots because you’re not out on the field putting in the time like these guys are. Whenever he has a question, or if I see something that sticks out that I could help him with, I’ll try to do whatever I can.
Q: What was different about your three starts this year? You went 1-2 and things didn’t go as smoothly as they did last year.
GAROPPOLO: We had a completely different team. Every year, it’s going to be different. It’s an up and down battle. There are going to be good games, there are going to be bad games, but it’s disappointing that I didn’t get to see this year all the way through. Like I said before, just coming back stronger next year is the main thing now.
Q: Will you be able to make progress with the offense even standing on the sideline and listening to the headset?
GAROPPOLO: Yeah. I’m trying to approach it as a coach almost. You could do all the mental stuff the same as you did before, if not more because you have more time now, and then during the game, you’re not out there. You’re seeing it all from the press box or on TV. It’s a different perspective, but I’m trying to use it to my advantage.
Q: You had a bird’s-eye view of the last game. Was there anything that jumped out to you from that vantage point?
GAROPPOLO: I’ve never watched the defense, because you’re always on the sideline preparing for the next (drive). So, watching them, it was different. I’m still new to it, I guess.