Jan. 2: Lance will indeed get the second start of his career, as Garoppolo will miss the Niners’ Week 17 contest against the Texans and will require offseason surgery on his injured thumb, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. That does not preclude Garoppolo from suiting up for the club’s Week 18 bout with the Rams, though if San Francisco should qualify for the playoffs today — which will happen if it defeats Houston and New Orleans loses to Carolina — Lance would presumably start the regular season finale as well.
The surgery should not have much of an impact on Garoppolo’s trade market this offseason, but his sustaining an injury at a critical juncture underscores why the 49ers made the bold move to acquire Lance in the first place and why they plan to trade Garoppolo in the coming months.
Dec. 31: The 49ers have listed Jimmy Garoppolo as doubtful for Sunday’s game against the Texans, as Matt Barrows of The Athletic tweets. But, for what it’s worth, head coach Kyle Shanahan says he’s still “holding out hope” for Garoppolo being able to start.
Garoppolo is dealing with a Grade 3 sprain, rather than a fracture, according to Shanahan. That at least gives the quarterback some chance of suiting up as the Niners push for a postseason berth.
“I’ve been told he does not need surgery right now,” said Shanahan (Twitter link via Cam Inman of the East Bay Times). “To clear that up, (sprain) is way it was worded to me, he has a Grade III sprain. Reason they never mentioned to me a fracture it doesn’t have much to do with the sprain; it pulled off a fleck of the bone.”
Garoppolo suffered the injury during the second quarter of Thursday’s game, a 20-17 loss to the Titans. If he can’t go this week, rookie Trey Lance will be in line for his start No. 2, his first since Week 5.
So far this year, Garoppolo gone 8-6 in 14 starts, completing 68% of his throws for 3,494 yards and 19 touchdowns against ten interceptions. Lance, meanwhile, went 15-of-29 for 192 yards and one INT in his start, a low-scoring loss to the Cardinals.
The Niners control their own destiny in the Wild Card race, so wins over the Texans and Rams would punch their ticket to the playoffs.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.