Jimmy Garoppolo creates confusion about his calf injury

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo stands on the sideline during the second half of an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks in Santa Clara,  Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

The San Francisco 49ers’ communication breakdowns during the early part of the season appear not to be limited to the field.

When quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo left Sunday’s game against Seattle, a calf injury was the reason that was given. On Monday, head coach Kyle Shanahan said that Garoppolo had a calf contusion and the quarterback would be reevaluated in the next two days. It appeared to be positive news.

Garoppolo met with local media today and was asked if he had become more optimistic about the injury. “Yeah, definitely,” Garoppolo responded. “I think the initial reaction, you’re obviously bummed by it and everything. Yeah, just pulled the calf a little bit.”

A muscle pull is different from a contusion. When that was mentioned to Garoppolo, the quarterback doubled down. “Uh, I tweaked the muscle,” he said. “Whatever word you want to use for it. I strained it a little bit.”

Over the course of about 30 seconds, the injury went from a contusion to a pull to a strain.

The inconsistencies don’t end there. How Garoppolo suffered the injury seems to have taken a twist as well.

Following the game, Kyle Shanahan was asked when Garoppolo’s injury occurred. “He got hurt sometime in the first half. He said he got stepped on, not sure which play,” responded Shanahan.

Garoppolo would have a similar response moments later when he came to the podium, “I’m not, it felt like that. Yeah. I don’t know if that is actually what happened or not, but yeah.”

Today, Garoppolo stated that he actually hadn’t been stepped on. Instead, he had taken a knee to the calf while pushing off to make a throw.

After today’s press conference, here is what we know: Garoppolo suffered a contusion, pull, strain to his right calf on a play in which he was stepped on, or kneed. Everyone clear?

One thing we know for sure is Garoppolo was not able to practice today and will continue to work with doctors to determine his availability for Sunday.

In other injury news, George Kittle (calf), Trent Williams (shoulder), Samson Ebukam (hamstring), and K’Waun Williams (calf) were held out of practice. Meanwhile, Javon Kinlaw (knee), Elijah Mitchell (shoulder) and Josh Norman (chest) were limited participants.

This article has 23 Comments

  1. It sure sounds like Jimmy Garoppolo suffered a charley horse, doesn’t it?

    Tell me again how much money is this guy making? SMH

    1. Only to you does it sound like a Charlie horse. You are unrelenting in your critique of JG. It’s gets old.
      During the game all he knew was his calf was injured, but not when or how. Upon film review It was decided that it was a knee to the calf. Does that cause a strain or a contusion? It’s probably semantics but the real issue is how fast it heals enough for him to play.

  2. A calf contusion is a bruise following a direct impact to the calf resulting in damage to the muscle fiber, and perhaps to the connective tissue and small blood vessels of the muscle. A calf muscle strain is an actual tear of the muscle fiber. However, they can be similar in pain and discomfort to the patient, and indistinguishable.

    The bottom line is that Jimmy G is not a QB who is functional when injured. IMO, that’s why he will end up as a backup who can play competently for a few games at a stretch when needed.

    1. That was my point during the offseason. Jimmy Garoppolo’s availability cannot be counted on from one week to the next, so how can you go into the season without a backup QB who is realistically prepared to come in and help this team win games?

      How could this have been the plan for the QB position this offseason, if they truly believed this was a Super Bowl contending roster? The last thing you want to do with a young, inexperienced, developmental QB is to put him in a situation that Trey now finds himself in. Trey Lance has to be feeling the weight of the season now resting on his shoulders, heading into what has to feel like a must-win road game! Certainly his head coach sold this to the team, and the fan base, right? They didn’t treat this offseason like they were rebuilding, even the slightest. They made a lot of moves to suggest they were trying to run it back this season.

      After last season, a large segment of the 49ers fanbase, including myself, felt very strongly that the 49ers organization could no longer depend on Jimmy Garoppolo to be the guy. No matter how we felt about him in terms of talent, there was no longer a question of whether he was durable enough to be depended on. So what does Kyle do? He drafts the least experienced QB in the 2021 draft class, knowing full well that at some point in the season, likely earlier than later, the kid was going to be thrust into action. But Kyle hasn’t laid the necessary groundwork to put the rookie in the best possible position to succeed. He hasn’t even been getting a fair share of weekly game plan install reps.

      Here’s what Kyle said yesterday, when asked about the practice reps:

      Question: I think you said in the past that QB Trey Lance was getting 80-percent of the scout team work, has that been kind of consistent from Weeks 1-4 that he gets, at the most, maybe 20-percent of the actual first-team reps?

      Kyle: “Yeah, I’d say that’s a good estimate. Nothing has been different than any time we’ve had a starting quarterback and a backup here. We do comp periods versus our defense, which they split it. Everything else, usually the starting quarterback gets it. Second guy does everything on scout team. The times he’s not, we let [QB] Nate [Sudfeld] get some reps, and that allows us to work with Trey extra on the side.”

      I ‘m sorry but that’s a major problem, IMO. What happens if Trey comes out and has an embarrassing outing on Sunday against a division rival. Do you guys think that’s going to help build his confidence, and somehow help him progress moving forward? The 49ers spent 3 first round picks, and a 3rd pick in order to draft Trey Lance, knowing darn well that he was a developmental project. At the same time, they made a decision – according to Kyle’s own words – that Trey Lance would only be getting a small fraction of the weekly game plan reps during at least the early portion of the season. And now their back is up against the wall as a team, and the weight of the entire season in which they have Super Bowl “aspirations” is being put on the shoulders of a 21 year old QB who has all of 17 games worth of experience in college – Division 1-AA – and hasn’t even been getting a proper number of practice reps throughout the first month of the season.

      This is not fair to Trey Lance, it’s not fair to the rest of the team, and it’s not fair to the fan base! This should never have happened. They never should have allowed themselves to be put in a position where they putting this kind of pressure on a young QB who is likely the least prepared, and the least experienced of any rookie QB to start a game, over the last decade at least! They either needed to go all in on Trey Lance from the first day of mini-camp, or else they should have signed another QB who was capable of shouldering the load until Trey is at least reasonably prepared to come in and help this team win.

      You guys need to think about this next question, long and hard:

      If Trey Lance comes out and has a miserable performance on Sunday, looking nothing like an NFL caliber QB, and the 49ers get blown out and fall to 2-3, 0-2 in their division, what is going to be the national story on Monday morning? And how do they handle the QB situation moving forward?

      I only ask this question because that’s the situation Kyle has likely put this football team in already, less than 5 games into the season! SMH!

      1. Isn’t this exactly the kind of situation you want to AVOID putting a young rookie QB in? Don’t you want to go out of your way to avoid rattling the kid early on and ruining his confidence? Isn’t that rookie QB development 101?

        I’m so upset because this situation could end up being disastrous for this franchise moving forward. If you don’t believe me, ask a long time Houston Texan (David Carr), or Cincinnati Bengals (Akili Smith) fan!

      2. You guys need to think about this next question, long and hard:

        If Trey Lance comes out and has a miserable performance on Sunday, looking nothing like an NFL caliber QB, and the 49ers get blown out and fall to 2-3, 0-2 in their division

        49Reasons will continue with his hysteria over how Shanahan is RUINING Trey. He’ll NEVER recover. 49 will also let us know Shannie threw his QB under the bus in the presser.

        In other words, same old, same old.

          1. I find it amazing that you guys would defend Kyle’s handling of the QB situation this season, but I understand that you don’t want to criticize your precious head coach.

            Just realize this: if the LA Rams had handled their QB situation the way that Kyle has handled his this season, I guarantee you that you guys would be absolutely ridiculing them senseless right now!

            But go ahead and keep whistling past the graveyard, because looking at things through rose-colored glasses will surely make things better in the long run. SMH!

            Personally, I’m going to be critical when I see my favorite team heading off of a cliff, after losing 3 of their last 4 seasons. But that’s me.

            1. Quit guaranteeing stuff. You can’t guarantee anything. The reason we don’t agree with you is because you are wrong. It’s a dumb opinion on your part with out any evidence to back up your opinion.

  3. Speaking of communication issues, I have to say I’m a bit surprised by the assignment mixups on the O-line. This line is full of veteran players. Maybe it’s growing pains with a new center but those things really shouldn’t happen so frequently at the NFL level. Right now, if you just look at game film it looks like the signing of Alex Mack has been an unmitigated disaster. He frequently gets blown up at the point of attack and he is the person in charge of communicating assignments which have frequently been mixed up by other o-lineman. Just looks to me like Shanalynch place a premium on prior experience in the system over actual talent. Been a bit frustrating to watch. Oh and by the way, Creed Humphrey and Josh Myers are graded higher than Mack according to PFF. I hope they get the 0-line fixed or it’s going to be a long season.

    1. I agree, but I think everyone knew he was not the player he once was from a physical standpoint. As the season goes on I think he helps the line improve to play better than it is now.

  4. I hope they give JG 2 full weeks to recuperate. That would give Lance one week (playing with a game plan created especially for him) to show that he is ready to play. If he plays like he did last week JG can step back in and stay there until Lance is ready to play or JG is injured again.

    1. Imagine making your 1st start againts the only undefeated team and a div rival on the road! Yikes!
      I am interested to see how Lance handles the ups and downs in this game. And there will be plenty… We will find out a lot about his mental toughness after this game. And if he plays well in this condition even on a losing cause then there is no point to start JG again.

  5. Honestly, the way this offense has been playing it doesn’t matter which QB we start, we are losing this game. Even a healthy JG. This offense againts a bad Seattle Def could not score while our Def was dominating.

    1. They beat GB, lost in last minute.

      They beat themselves with muffed kick-off, and two 3rd and outs back to back that ended in a TD, and missed a FG because Wish has never kicked in a game. Thats 17 points given up.

      The team is not as bad as you claim.

      Stop it, get help.

      1. “They beat GB, lost in last minute.”
        Huh? When did that happened? You mean us taking the lead for the 1st time in the game with 37 secs left is winning the game?! What game were you watching? GB dominated both sides of the ball!

        “They beat themselves…”
        Scoring ONLY 7 pts in the 1st half while your Def have dominated and playing against a bad Def is not beating yourself. That’s just bad football. Stop making excuses. With a loaded talent this team has underperformed. That’s just the reality at the moment.

        1. With a loaded talent this team has underperformed.

          Care to tell us what team in the league can perform while missing key starters at both CB positions, the top 4 in the RB depth chart, the LT, the QB?

  6. I’m curious to see how well the defense performs this Sunday. There was a nice improvement from the GB game to the Seattle game (for the first half anyway). Let’s see if Demeco can keep improving on his game plans and adjustments.

  7. Getting thrown into the fire is the sometimes the best recipe for success . . . if the competitor in Trey gets ignited by rising up to the occasion to fight and win then we have a winner who can carry the flagship of the niners’ empire and launch us into a new era of winning championships. The game tomorrow is a make it or break it for the team . . . go niners

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