Jimmy Garoppolo returns to practice, may start on Sunday

Injured San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo walks off the field after the 49ers defeated the Houston Texans in an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Jan. 2, 2022. (AP Photo/Jed Jacobsohn)

Jimmy Garoppolo has a chance to start for the San Francisco 49ers in their season finale on Sunday against the Los Angeles Rams.

The veteran quarterback went through a throwing session Tuesday, the first time he has throw a ball since December 23 in Tennessee. According to coach Kyle Shanahan, it went well enough for the veteran to be a limited participant in practice on Wednesday.

Garoppolo also felt the session went well, but noted that he’s still felling soreness in his thumb.

“It’s sore. It was a pretty good throwing session yesterday,” said Garoppolo. “Just trying to get the motion back and everything and get it feeling where I want it to feel.”

When asked what it feels like to throw a football with a torn ligament in his thumb Garoppolo used an expletive, “it  f—— hurts.”

“I don’t know how else to describe it. It feels like the web in your hand is tearing. That’s probably the best way I can describe it. But it’s all good.”

Shanahan was asked when he would name his starting quarterback for Sunday. Citing a competitive advantage due to the two 49ers quarterbacks having different skillsets, Shanahan responded, “I haven’t made it now, which is the truth, and I probably will make it before the game starts. And I will not tell you guys when I do that.”

With the 49ers nearly in a win-or-go-home scenario on Sunday, how will Shanahan divvy up the practice reps for his quarterbacks?

“We’ll put Jimmy in on what he feels comfortable with doing with where he is at today and Trey will get the rest,” Shanahan said.

“I’m sure Trey will get the majority, but we’ll see how it is when he’s out there. Mainly just communicating with him through the practice, through the individuals, through everything. Today won’t be a full-speed practice, so it’s not as challenging.”


The 49ers opened the practice windows for cornerback Emmanuel Moseley, wide receiver Mohamed Sanu Sr. and safety Tavon Wilson.

Additionally, the team announced cornerback Ambry Thomas tested positive for COVID-19 yesterday and has joined Jimmie Ward, K’Waun Williams, and Dontae Johnson as members of the 49ers secondary on the Reserve/COVID-19 list. All four still have a chance to test back in before Sunday.

Fellow rookie cornerback Deommodore Lenoir was placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list later in the day. He is unlikely to be available on Sunday.

The 49ers secondary faces a stiff test against Los Angeles. Due to COVID protocols, three potential starters are unable to practice and will need to rely on film study and mental reps in preparation for the Rams on Sunday.

This article has 17 Comments

  1. I think Jimmy starts and is on a short leash. Balls start to come out REALLY bad and inaccurate wobbly etc then Lance is in. I would expect his throws down the field 15-20 yards to look ugly, hopefully he only has to attempt a few of those.

    But overall I think Jimmy does not want to go out as a 49er on the sideline watching. He wants to be the the hero and be a good teammate. You know based on Shanahan’s pedigree he loves that gritty toughness so I think he is good with sending Jimmy out there less than 100%.

  2. Cornerback Ambry Thomas is the latest addition. He joins Jimmie Ward, Dontae Johnson, and K’Waun Williams on the list with the 49ers heading toward a Sunday game against the Rams.

    😂🤣😂🤣😅 From Twitter

    You know Josh Norman won’t get covid because he’s always 6 feet away from receivers.

  3. “Shanahan was asked when he would name his starting quarterback for Sunday. Citing a competitive advantage due to the two 49ers quarterbacks having different skillsets, Shanahan responded, “I haven’t made it now, which is the truth, and I probably will make it before the game starts. And I will not tell you guys when I do that.”

    I’m completely fine with this scenario. Shanahan took some guff last week regarding whether Trey was starting last Sunday.
    No need to waste time on the same subject again.
    Let Shanahan focus on the Rams instead of appeasing the media.

  4. This is unlikely to end well. That thumb needs surgery, and they of the mind that Jimmy should just rub some dirt on it and get back in there. Won’t be surprised if this is a disaster. If it is, I hope Jimmy is horrible instantly and Kyle isn’t his typical super stubborn self and gets Lance in right away. If Jimmy goes out there and throw 3 pics and the Niners lose by 20-30 points, the fire will and should get quite hot under Kyle’s ass. (Not that I think he will get fired for it).

    1. If Shanahan or anyone else on the 49ers coaching staff thought that would happen Garoppolo won’t be out there.

  5. To me it comes down to our running game and if our defense could play the way they have been playing lately. If we are effective on both we win the game whoever is the QB.

    I also think Trey starts, no way JG is 100% healthy with that injury.

  6. Wow on all the Covid players. Just curious if the same workplace COvid rules apply to every NFL team or do teams in CA also follow perhaps stricter Covid rules based on state and local laws.

    1. Covid rules are league wide policy. We are at the point were we can no longer baby this thing along. It is a very treatable and manageable infectious disease for those who are vaccinated. Unfortunately a segment of the population is anti-science , anti-facts and most likely have a mental disorder. I guess individuals have the right not to get the vaccine but they don’t have the right to attend sporting events, board a plane, eat at restaurants etc

      1. Thanks for your input, I guess. No matter how wrong you may be. I’m just curious if the 49ers and all CA teams are subject to stricter rules than many other teams. Obviously they have to follow NFL rules but are there additional protocols which may cause players to miss games that they wouldn’t otherwise miss in some other state? Kind of like when Santa Clara shut down the stadium so the team had to go play in Arizona. It was fine for Arizona but California couldn’t allow it. That’s really my question.

      2. Though not the NFL, unvaccinated flat earther nutcase Kyrie Irving of the Brooklyn Nets is forbidden to play home games in NYC due to indoor vaccination requirements. However, he’s now able to play away games in less enlightened regions of this great country. Maybe similar for the NFL? Today was a story about the League possibly considering moving the SB from LA to Cowboys Stadium in Texas. Why there? A couple guesses come to mind.

        Also best wishes to the Mostert family, their young son having exhibited horrible life threatening COVID symptoms, hopefully out of danger now?

        Rollo, I’m in 1000% agreement with your takes and recommendations. Enough!!!

      3. I understand why we should not make comments like this in here since this is a sport blog, but we really need to stop “baby-sitting” these non-believers! I think we have given this portion of the population enough time to get with the program but sometimes tough love has to be implemented. I don’t like telling people how to live their lives and this is a free country but people are dying and this has gone over 2 years now with no clear ending. Enough!

  7. Imo, if Jimmy started, the Rams would redefine the definition of having a QB beat you with the pass. I’m not learned enough to project how they’d do it, but the result would put our running game on life support. You all know that if we can’t run, we can’t win.

    So I can’t envision Lance not starting. I hope he does anyway. I love this kid and think that with a little bit of running and passing he can game-manage a victory if our secondary holds up.

  8. There are three questions as the Niners prepare for the Rams.

    First is the obvious one: who will be the quarterback? while bloggers have opinions it will be a decision by the coaching staff and they won’t pay attention to bloggers. They know more about football than do we and I look forward to their decision.

    Second, what can be done about the ineffective secondary? The problem has existed all season and now gets worse with many defensive backs out of the game. Maybe there is some creative answer to this question and I can’t imagine what it is.

    Third, what can be done about the disappearances of Bosa and Kittle? Both of them were non-factors when the Niners played the weak Titans, and both are far too valuable to disappear against the Rams. Here, too, coaching creativity will be needed to get both of them deeply involved on Sunday.

    1. Completely agree on the quarterback decision. It all depends on how well Jimmy is able to throw.
      There is no answer for the secondary other than hope guys come off Covid and the Dline has a great day rushing the passer. As for Bosa and Kittle, they both get double teamed a lot which opens up other guys. Hopefully they both have great games but you have to adjust to whatever the defense gives you.

    2. Trey better at throwing outside and down field. I am sure they can get some easy throws ti get Kittle going if they wanted too.

  9. One of my favorite moments from episode #1 the Peacock’s “Joe Cool Under Pressure” TV series is that Montana earned his QB reputation through high school, college, and NFL. There were always QBs who were taller, more built, threw the ball farther, faster, and stronger arm. When Dwight Clark (10th round pick) first met Joe Montana, he thought he was the kicker. If he were drafted by a run first offense (say the Steelers in 79), Chuck Noll would have had Montana hand the ball off to Franco Harris two thirds of the game. Fortunately, Walsh drafted Montana and he implemented his pass first offense and revolutionized modern day football much like Steph Curry and Klay Thompson changed the NBA game first under HC Mark Jackson and currently with HC Steve Kerr.

    If Jimmy G plays, then I won’t believe he was injured at all. If your throwing hand is injured, you shouldn’t play. It’s that simple.

    If Jimmy G is hurt and plays, he needs to hand the ball off and throw short and quick passes. This means they overload the box and dare Jimmy G to throw long. If I were the HC, I would implement some plays with two QBs in the back field, do some run option with the RB and mix in some fake runs with Jimmy G and Mitchell going in one direction and handing it to Lance as option run/pass in the opposite direction. The obvious key to winning is Bosa and the front seven putting “Pick Six Stafford Under Pressure,” and running the ball and controlling the clock. If the 49ers resemble last week’s first half offense, they will lose.

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