Jimmy Garoppolo Injured: Here’s What We Know

jimmy garoppolo
Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

The inevitable has happened again: Jimmy Garoppolo is injured.

When the 49ers traded up to draft quarterback Trey Lance in the 2021 draft, the front office made it clear that Garoppolo’s concerning injury history was one of the reasons why.

They simply haven’t been able to rely on a quarterback who can barely make it through a full season healthy.

It started in 2018 when Jimmy G tore his ACL in Week 3. He missed the remainder of the season.

In 2019, Garoppolo managed to get through most of the year unscathed, but in 2020 he missed more time with a high ankle sprain.

And now in 2021, after already missing several games earlier in the year due to a calf injury, he’s reportedly been sidelined because of a thumb sprain he sustained on Thursday night vs. the Titans.

Let’s make one thing clear — these injuries are not Jimmy’s fault. It’s a shame he’s had such bad luck throughout his career. But for the 49ers, it’s meant having to turn to inexperienced backups, and losing games they had no business losing.

Not having a consistently available starter they can count on week in, week out is a big reason why the 49ers are likely moving on from Jimmy after this season. This new injury is just another example of that.

Jimmy’s New Injury

Head coach Kyle Shanahan said Jimmy G injured his thumb during the Titans game on Thursday. Specifically, it’s a third degree thumb strain with a mild fracture. The injury is in his throwing hand.

Strangely enough, nothing was said about it after the game. The media wasn’t alerted of Garoppolo’s injury status until the following Monday when it was reported he had missed practice.

Already, that’s a bit odd. In-game injuries are typically reported right after the game, but for some reason, this injury to Garoppolo was kept secret. Perhaps the organization knew and chose not to announce it, or maybe Garoppolo himself kept it close to his chest.

Recovery Time

With only two games remaining in the 49ers’ season — perhaps more if they make the playoffs — how long till Jimmy G is back on the field?

The answer to that question has varied throughout this week. When Garoppolo’s injury was first announced Monday, his status for Sunday’s game vs. the Houston Texans was uncertain. Later in the week, it was implied he’d miss the game and perhaps more time because of an apparent bone fracture in his thumb in addition to the strain.

But on a recent conference call, Kyle Shanahan hinted at a possible Garoppolo start on Sunday, downplaying the more serious thumb fracture:

“(The fracture) really isn’t what’s keeping him out. It’s the third degree strain that he has. But because it’s not moving and stuff, he doesn’t need surgery, and he has a chance to play this week.”

So… maybe it’s not that serious, after all?

It sounds like even if Jimmy Garoppolo doesn’t return in time for the Houston Texans, he’ll most definitely be starting the following week against the Los Angeles Rams.

What About Trey Lance?

Many 49ers fans are eager to see quarterback Trey Lance on the field again — and rightfully so. He’s the future of the team.

Due to Garoppolo’s injury, it’s becoming increasingly possible Lance will get his second NFL start ever on Sunday.

If Lance plays well vs. the Texans and Garoppolo is ready to return the following week vs. the Rams, the 49ers may have an interesting dilemma: start a healing Garoppolo in a crucial game that will likely determine the team’s playoff fate, or continue to roll with the rookie?

It’s also possible that Jimmy G’s injury worsens, causing him to miss the rest of the season. That would likely mean we’ve seen the last of Garoppolo in a 49ers jersey.

That scenario would also mean the 49ers playoff hopes rest firmly in Trey Lance’s hands. To some, that’s exciting. To others? Terrifying.

Closing Thoughts

Because of the timing of Jimmy Garoppolo’s injury, and the fact that his replacement is the franchise’s future, it’s a more complicated situation than usual.

Currently, Garoppolo’s status for Sunday is uncertain — but there’s a chance he could play. If he doesn’t, the world will be eagerly watching Trey Lance. And if Lance plays well, Garoppolo may just have to spend another week on the sidelines — and not because of an injury.

We’ll keep you updated on any further developments right here on Championship Sports Media.

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