Jimmy Garoppolo remains San Francisco 49ers starting quarterback, even after “his worst game”


SANTA CLARA, Calif .– Although the San Francisco 49ers expect rookie quarterback Trey Lance to return to practice on Wednesday, veteran Jimmy Garoppolo will remain the starter against the Chicago Bears on Sunday.

Following Sunday night’s 30-18 loss to the Indianapolis Colts, Niners coach Kyle Shanahan expressed some uncertainty as to who his quarterback against Chicago would be, citing the need for updates on Lance’s health and, in particular, Garoppolo’s health before a decision can be made.

In less than 24 hours, Shanahan obtained enough information to declare Monday afternoon that Garoppolo will remain the starter in hopes that Lance can do enough in training this week to play in situation against the Bears.

“When it comes to deciding who is going to be a quarterback, it has to do with Jimmy’s health,” Shanahan said. “Jimmy, I wanted to see how his calf was. It’s good today and so he starts and I hope Trey gets back to training and has a pretty good week getting dressed and if he ends up doing it. dress up, there’s always a good chance he’ll get some games there. “

Although Garoppolo apparently got out of the match correctly, he later said he could feel the previously bruised and strained right calf as the match progressed, although he noted that it didn’t. not embarrassed.

“It held up,” Garoppolo said. “I have certainly felt it sometimes. But it kind of is what it is.”

Still, Garoppolo had what Shanahan called “his worst game” of the season on Monday against the Colts, going 16 of 27 for 181 yards with one touchdown, two interceptions and a lost fumble.

With the Niners in the midst of a four-game losing streak, the drumbeat for Lance to secure his opportunity just got louder, at least among the fans. But Shanahan was more emphatic on Monday when he discussed his quarterback situation, making it clear that he did not view the Indianapolis game as a referendum on Garoppolo’s status as a starter.

“We didn’t come into this game thinking Jimmy was one step away from losing his job or something,” Shanahan said. “I really thought he could have played better, but it wasn’t a game where, ‘Hey, if Jimmy has a bad game he loses his job.’ We know Trey is the future here and we’re trying to to do what is best for him and for our team. “

For now, that means Lance’s sprained left knee is healthy. Lance suffered the injury in his first and only start in the NFL, an Oct. 10 loss to the Arizona Cardinals. This departure only took place due to the calf injury Garoppolo suffered the week before.

Lance scored 15 of 29 for 192 yards with an interception against the Cardinals and rushed 16 times for 89 yards. All that rush took its toll, however, as Shanahan announced the day after that game that Lance would miss a week or two with a sprained knee.

Lance was an idle pre-game against the Colts with Nate Sudfeld serving as Garoppolo’s backup. This week, Shanahan expects Lance to return to training on Wednesday, which at least opens the door for him to take over the replacement role behind Garoppolo.

“Trey hasn’t trained for two weeks since his knee injury, so when he comes back, which hopefully on Wednesday, he will likely be limited as he is,” Shanahan said. “I haven’t decided yet, we’ll have to see where he is. Chances are, as far as the game plan and everything we’re doing, you’re not going to just start spinning. quarters because it’s not an open competition at the moment. “

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