The story in the Bay Area for the last two months has been the play of 49ers rookie quarterback Brock Purdy. But for a team that has already seen their top two quarterback options for the season go down with injury, the prospect of having to turn to veteran, journeyman quarterback Josh Johnson is not an extremely attractive one as they prepare for the conference championship and Super Bowl. It was good news, then, when head coach Kyle Shanahan reported earlier this week that quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo had an “outside chance” of being available for this weekend’s game with a Super Bowl trip being even more likely, according to ESPN’s Nick Wagoner.
A more recent update from Ian Rapoport of NFL Network has clarified that Garoppolo’s most recent X-rays have resulted in in him being downgraded to doubtful for the NFC Championship game. That doesn’t rule him out for the big game in two weeks’ time, though. If the 49ers make it past the Eagles for a trip to Arizona, they may see a significant upgrade to their quarterbacks room.
Purdy would most likely continue in his starting role, as the team has not lost with him at quarterback, but Garoppolo would be a massive upgrade at backup quarterback over Johnson. Johnson was given the roster spot for a reason, but Garoppolo’s years of familiarity and experience with the offense makes him much more suited for success in an emergency situation during the season’s biggest game.
Regardless, as big of a game as it is, San Francisco likely respects Garoppolo too much to rush him back into play if he’s not ready. If there is any danger of further injury, expect the two-deep to show Purdy and Johnson as the top options.
Here’s another rumor for San Francisco as they prepare to join rest of the NFL in the offseason, whether that be in three days or seventeen:
- Continuing a story from the offseason, the 49ers still have every intention of extending star defensive end Nick Bosa. While the NFL’s reigning sack leader does have a fifth-year option on his rookie contract, San Francisco has no intention of letting him get anywhere near that close to free agency. According to a report from Rapoport, Bosa’s expectation will be nothing short of becoming the highest-paid defensive player in the NFL. Currently, by annual average value, that honor belongs to Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald, who makes $31.67MM per year, with Steelers outside linebacker T.J. Watt coming in a far off second at $28MM per year. Bosa’s older brother, Chargers outside linebacker Joey Bosa, currently sits in third at $27MM per year. The younger Bosa will demand a pretty penny, but San Francisco has made a point to invest in its young assets recently, rewarding such players as wide receiver Deebo Samuel, tackle Trent Williams, tight end George Kittle, and running back Christian McCaffrey handsomely. Expect that trend to continue as they attempt to lock down the potential 2022 Defensive Player of the Year.