Justin Houston: Jimmy G’s injury was his fault, be smart and step out of bounds

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San Francisco quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo suffered what appears to be a season-ending knee injury when his knee buckled as he tried to cut back inside rather than stepping out of bounds late in Sunday’s loss to the Chiefs. Kansas City linebacker Justin Houston says Garoppolo has no one to blame but himself.

“That was his fault,” Houston said. “I pray he’s not hurt, nothing serious, but as a quarterback you should step out of bounds. It was only an inch. That inch wouldn’t have made a difference. You got the yardage you need, you step out of bounds. You got to be smart.”

Houston is right: Garoppolo was surrounded by Chiefs defenders and wasn’t going to gain any significant additional yardage by staying inbounds. He was at the sideline and easily could have stepped out and avoided any contact.

Instead he decided to fight for maybe one extra yard, and that decision probably ended any hopes the 49ers have of making the playoffs. That was not smart.

99 responses to “Justin Houston: Jimmy G’s injury was his fault, be smart and step out of bounds

  1. And if a RB was doing this he would be lauded for ” fighting for extra yards.”

    Granted, I don’t want my QB taking shots and I want him to get out of bounds, but a non contact knee injury can happen at any time.

  2. Maybe Jimmy G. could hear Jim Brown criticizing players that step out of bounds instead of enduring the car wreck. Hopefully the injury is not as bad as feared.

  3. The Whiners weren’t making the playoffs with or without Garoppolo. Let’s be serious. They have no play makers on offense and a defense who is average at best. Still the worst team in the NFC West (maybe tied for worst with the Cards if being generous).

  4. Yes, Jimmy needs to play smarter. All the teams need to use the film footage in their QB rooms to educate the young guys on why you don’t try to make that cut and fight for extra yards. Now Jimmy is down!

  5. But if he doesn’t get hurt, he’d be looked at a tough competitor. I love how the media plays the whole hindsight 20/20 vision game so well. So easy to sit back and judge people from your little office 🙂

  6. Very frustrating as a fan of Garoppolo and the Niners. Such an unintelligent decision. 4th and 9 vs. 4th and 8, there is no difference, live to fight another play.

    The Niners schedule this year was brutal in the beginning. Minny, Detroit, KC, Chargers to start, 3 of them on the road. All they had to do was weather that storm, go 2-2 and the rest of their schedule was very winnable. So frustrating.

    They also have 4 prime time games in a 5 week stretch coming up. A total lost season.

  7. .
    It’s always risk vs reward. The risk is losing a whole season for the entire franchise and fan base. The reward is a meaningless few inches in a game that was essentially over.
    .

  8. jimmy garoppolo’s knee is like a lizard’s tail.

    jimmy’s knee knew cutting back inside was a bad idea.

    His knee tried to save him… but… it was too late.

  9. in either game – life or football – the margin for error is so small. I mean, one half a step too late or too early and you don’t quite make it. One half second too slow, too fast and you don’t quite catch it. The inches we need are everywhere around us. They’re in every break of the game, every minute, every second. On this team we fight for that inch. On this team we tear ourselves and everyone else around us to pieces for that inch. We claw with our fingernails for that inch. Because we know when add up all those inches, that’s gonna make the difference between winning and losing! Between living and dying! I’ll tell you this, in any fight it’s the guy whose willing to die whose gonna win that inch

  10. Feel bad for JimmyG. Houston is of course right but this is why I think ALL scrambling QBs at the pro level are a bad idea. Yes they make football fun/exciting to watch, but great QBs are hard to find and, in the salary cap era, they’re paid such a huge part of the pot that with every step they take out of the pocket a season or two is on the line – or even longer if the guy is guaranteed much of his long contract like JimmyG is. Scrambling should normally be restricted to 2-a-dime back-ups where it gives them that extra chance on broken plays but are no great loss if the worst happens.

  11. Wow all that money spent by the niners for McKinnon and Jimmy G. in my Jerry Seinfeld voice “That’s a Shame”

  12. Such a freak play for Aladdin.

    Hope the Niners off year can help them draft well this off season to give Aladdin some weapons to throw to.

    Also hope CJ Beathard plays well enough to get a shot as a starter with another team at a later date.

  13. Bart Scott clarified that Josh Allen is a white quarterback on First Take this morning in case you didn’t already know this ,,BART Scott gets a free mouth and I don’t know why !

  14. Most teams don’t have a very good QB, so losing yours for the season means your season is pretty much over. You have to be smarter than that. Sure that injury can happen anytime you try to cut anywhere on the field, but did you really need to do that when you are on the sideline to maybe get an extra yard with all those defenders around?

  15. vikesfansteve says:
    September 24, 2018 at 9:01 am
    He also dates x-rated stars. So maybe his judgement can be questioned @ times.

    This is what you used for your argument about his judgement? LOL.

  16. vikesfansteve , might want to question your own judgement on being a Vikings fan after one of the biggest , most embarrassing losses a 17 point favorite ever had .

  17. J K says:
    September 24, 2018 at 9:04 am
    He has 137 million reasons why he needs to just go out of bounds there.
    ———–
    He’s getting that money either way.

  18. Some of you are baffoons. Yes he got hurt trying to extend a play, but it was a non contact injury. He got hurt on the cut to turn up field, not on the impact with the DB. That injury could have happened on any play.

  19. Wants to be iron man. It won’t work. Defensive guys don’t do yoga like QBs instead they lift weights. You can’t take them one on one

  20. I’m a niners fan. Houston is not wrong. After it happened, I was actually yelling at Jimmy G (through my TV) because it was his fault. This could have easily been avoided and it’s really disappointing. Hoping that it’s not worst case scenario.

  21. As I see it, we were going 8-8 this season. Probably worse now. I had no illusions of a playoff run. But I did expect to see growth. Guess we’ll take the higher pick and grow next season. I’m still behind the niners, whoever is the QB.

  22. It’s football folks…..injuries have been part pf the sport since it’s inception and will continue till the game becomes obsolete. The problem NOW with the NFL is they think every type of injury can be eliminated by passing stupid rules. Can’t wait to see new rule will be inacted to prevent this type of injury.

  23. If it didn’t happen on that play, it would have been another where Garoppolo tried to make a cut. His ACL was obviously ready to go since it was non-contact. I’m sure he feels bad enough without the opponent chiming in that it was his own fault.

  24. Topcide

    And if a RB was doing this he would be lauded for ” fighting for extra yards.”

    Granted, I don’t want my QB taking shots and I want him to get out of bounds, but a non contact knee injury can happen at any time.

    _____________

    They’re Running Backs!! Lol

  25. And if a RB was doing this he would be lauded for ” fighting for extra yards.”
    Granted, I don’t want my QB taking shots and I want him to get out of bounds, but a non contact knee injury can happen at any time.

    ===========
    The problem is they allow QBs to do this. Players are so scared to hit a QB they pull up when it looks like they are going out of bounds so cutting back in can sometimes get extra yards.

    That being said I’m amazed they didn’t flag Nelson for hitting him.

  26. Fun Fact: 10 years ago Tom Brady tore his knee up vs KC week 1 and now Jimmy G tears his up vs KC week 3. maybe Matt Cassel is available for the Niners

  27. I’m sorry but that’s silly.

    It was a non-contact injury (as most ACL tears are, in fact) on a run-of-the-mill lateral cutback. If his knee tore from that, it was just waiting to tear.

  28. I get that a player’s instinct is to get more yardage. I can’t really disagree with Houston though, even if the injury was a non-contact freak accident.

    What I do take issue with is the non-call on the blatant helmet hit right after his knee went the wrong way.

  29. I don’t get it. I don’t understand the need for every player to start opening his mouth to criticize other players. What does Justin Houston get by criticizing him?

    Call me old fashioned, but I prefer humility, dignity and respect. A fine thing to say would have been, “Man, I hate to see anyone get hurt. He’s out there fighting and competing and the injury is really unfortunate. My heart goes out to the guy.”

    Is that so hard?

  30. There is such a premium for QBs in this league, and a guy like Jimmy needs reps more being a young guy. What’s funny is Football is such an emotional, competitive game.. that’s what fans love.. but the rules, the salary cap, the non guaranteed contracts all squash the emotion that makes the game great. Sadly for me the games border on unwatchable.. uneccesarilly complicated rules… each officiating team interprets nearly every rule differently.. as a fan you can’t trust your eyes.. catch , no catch, PI, no PI, holding? ( can be called on every play).. even the commentators note when refs just let players play.. because it’s rare.. it’s really just a ruined game from what it was.. Watching certain games really feels like watching Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant, with predetermined endings.. not saying it is, just saying it feels like it is.. between crazy calls at the end of games, and sudden abilities to make plays that all game did not work.

  31. He is right. I have no sympathy for QB’s anymore with how the league is protecting them. He was probably hoping by cutting the defender would grab a face mask or something and get additional yardage.

  32. As a Redskins fan, I honestly feel bad for Kyle (and Jimmy). In D.C he had one hard headed QB who wanted to prove his toughness and that QB is a backup now and still has now cannot run as well as back then. Surprised to see Jimmy try to turn upfield when a step out is the correct play. What a tragically, season altering, possibly career altering unnecessary injury this could be. That sucks.

  33. “But if he doesn’t get hurt, he’d be looked at a tough competitor.”

    But he did, and it’s his fault. That’s what the article is about, in case you were wondering.

  34. stanleybucasas says: September 24, 2018 at 9:25 am
    “Some of you are baffoons. Yes he got hurt trying to extend a play, but it was a non contact injury. He got hurt on the cut to turn up field, not on the impact with the DB. That injury could have happened on any play.”

    =======================

    The issue is that he did NOT have to make that cut! A simple stepping out of bounds would have been suffice. Play hard but also need to play smart. Hope he recovers next season so we can see his full potential.

  35. The two concerns I gave about the 49ers thinking they got Joe Montana or something in the off-season when handing out that ridiculous contract: his turnovers in his small sample size and his injuries in his small sample size. So both have come to pass in short order, the second in a major way. But hey, you’ve got that $27 mil contract hanging around your neck 49er fans based on what, I still don’t know. Probably only the Vikings feel worse about what they bought this off-season.

  36. As a long time Eagles fan when I saw the play Jimmy G. hurt his knee before any contact. You can see his one foot slip then the other. This is exactly how my own ACL/MCL went back in D1 Bball. It was a not contact injury. YES he should have gotten out of bounds.

  37. savethebs says:
    September 24, 2018 at 9:23 am
    J K says:
    September 24, 2018 at 9:04 am
    He has 137 million reasons why he needs to just go out of bounds there.
    ———–
    He’s getting that money either way.
    __________________

    Agreed…although I think only $74.1 million is guaranteed…..so let’s start up a collection for the guy….

  38. He isn’t and he wasn’t your messiah. OK? He’s had like 2 decent quarters this season. But let’s be honest – he’s been NOTHING like what you thought you were getting based on his performance during the 2nd half of last season.

    He’s the 3rd best QB in his own division for heaven’s sake.

    He’s good. Good arm, athletic, competitive, firey…

    But he’s nowhere near an elite QB yet, and people need to stop acting like the Patriots lost Brady here, or the Packers lost Rodgers, or Seattle lost Wilson…

    It’s the equivalent of the Browns losing Tyrod Taylor, or the Jets losing Darnold…Only problem for the Niners is, they don’t have Baker Mayfield, or even Josh McCown waiting in the wings.

  39. Based on this injury, and the shoulder one he suffered against Miami while playing with New England, I have to wonder if he is going to be the type of QB is unable to reach his potential because he can’t protect himself and is injury plagued. I certainly hope not but both that play and the one against Miami should not have happened. He needs to learn to protect himself better.

  40. Watching Jimmy blow his wheel up turning upfield into a defender for maybe extra half yard was vintage RGIII.

    This is why ‘mobile’ quarterbacks this side of Steve Young’s sixth sense and Cam Newton’s sheer size don’t last in NFL.

  41. doulos31 says:
    September 24, 2018 at 9:51 am
    I don’t get it. I don’t understand the need for every player to start opening his mouth to criticize other players. What does Justin Houston get by criticizing him?

    Call me old fashioned, but I prefer humility, dignity and respect. A fine thing to say would have been, “Man, I hate to see anyone get hurt. He’s out there fighting and competing and the injury is really unfortunate. My heart goes out to the guy.”

    Is that so hard?

    Apparently It is very hard….and you should never kick a man when he is down because truth be told his QB could be next. This was a freak accident that happens and can happen to any player at any time. Absolutely, Jimmy should have used better discretion about the play to go out of bounds but he was trying to find a way to win the game because hello, he is used to winning. I hate it as a long time 49ers fan but he will be back next year better than ever!

  42. No we need more rules! Is jimmy considered a big enough star to change more rules? If a quarterback is headed toward the sideline they should not be tackled hard since their body is in a vulnerable position.

  43. doulos31 says:
    September 24, 2018 at 9:51 am
    I don’t get it. I don’t understand the need for every player to start opening his mouth to criticize other players. What does Justin Houston get by criticizing him?

    Call me old fashioned, but I prefer humility, dignity and respect. A fine thing to say would have been, “Man, I hate to see anyone get hurt. He’s out there fighting and competing and the injury is really unfortunate. My heart goes out to the guy.”

    Is that so hard?
    ——————————————————–

    Apparently It is very hard….and you should never kick a man when he is down because truth be told his QB could be next. This was a freak accident that happens and can happen to any player at any time. Absolutely, Jimmy should have used better discretion about the play to go out of bounds but he was trying to find a way to win the game because hello, he is used to winning. I hate it as a long time 49ers fan but he will be back next year better than ever!

  44. stanleybucasas says:
    September 24, 2018 at 9:25 am
    Some of you are baffoons. Yes he got hurt trying to extend a play, but it was a non contact injury. He got hurt on the cut to turn up field, not on the impact with the DB. That injury could have happened on any play.
    ______________________________________________________________________________________

    It wouldn’t have happened if he just ran out of bounds. He planted his knee so that he could cut back and try to run a guy over. The whole point of the story. It sucks, and I have gone through an ACL, but this was very preventable. Not only did he blow his ACL (likely) he also got smoked, when I was watching it I for sure thought he broke ribs, hurt shoulder, sternum.

  45. Houston is right. Had Jimmy G not pretended to be a WR/RB and ran out of bounds, his knee would be fine. There was no good reason to do what he did. QBs are taught to use the sideline as protection, not to cut like Barry Sanders back into the field of play and risk taking a big hit.

  46. sabatimus says:
    September 24, 2018 at 9:50 am
    I get that a player’s instinct is to get more yardage. I can’t really disagree with Houston though, even if the injury was a non-contact freak accident.

    What I do take issue with is the non-call on the blatant helmet hit right after his knee went the wrong way.
    ______________________________________________________________________

    1st off, it was not a helmet first hit.
    2nd, even if it was, a defensive player can not be held responsible if the guys leg blows out during a hit. No way for a defender to know if that would happen; especially when he is turning up field.

  47. Not enough practice days in full pads…too many days of just going through the motions. What are they allowed after the season starts….13 days in full pads. C’mon….

  48. aarons444 says:
    September 24, 2018 at 9:40 am

    Tony Romo Jr….
    =====

    As if there’s something wrong with being the #4 rated QB of all-time?
    ————————

    Lol. Rated by what measure?

  49. Justin Houston is right, he should have ran out of bounds, only reason to do what he did was if A. He is a running back, in which case with their athleticism that is a routine cut move and he wouldn’t have torn his ACL B. He needed the extra yards to get a touchdown or important first down. This could have been prevented but Jimmy Garoppolo thought he was LeSean Mccoy, until he realized he wasn’t.

  50. Totally throwing out the injury, team ramifications etc…

    It was a monumentally stupid football decision…

    It was 3rd and twenty… after two straight sacks… he picked up 13 yards to make a manageable FG..

    He was going nowhere… not only did he have to run over the defender that hit him, there were 3 more ready to gang tackle him after initial contact…

    He would have maybe gained and extra 2 yards tops…

    And the clock would have kept running… in a 2 score game…

    Say what you will about tough etc…

    This was actually selfish and stupid on many levels.

  51. That injury could happen at any time. It was likely the result of numerous other hits over his playing career weaken the knee that happened along the way. All he did waswhat he has always done since he started playing as a kid and pop goes the knee. The 49er GM should have known that Little Jimmy G had started two games in five years in New England and that he was “knocked out of one”!! He only gives up a 2nd Pick OK but after five meaningless games at the end of last year he signs he to a $137 Million Dollar contract well that was pure stupidity!!I almost thought he looked like a JV player whenever he stood next to Tom Brady.

  52. cakesw says: “He was going nowhere… not only did he have to run over the defender that hit him, there were 3 more ready to gang tackle him after initial contact…

    He would have maybe gained and extra 2 yards tops…

    And the clock would have kept running… in a 2 score game…

    Say what you will about tough etc…

    This was actually selfish and stupid on many levels.”
    ======================================

    1. The next play was 4th and goal. They were down 14 pts and were going to go for it. A “couple” of extra yards is the difference of trying from the 7 yard line or the 5 yard line. A running play is still an option at the 5yd line.

    2. The clock was at 5:55. It keeps running regardless of going out of bounds before the 5-minute mark.

    3. A touchdown on the drive puts them down only 7 pts. The game was certainly within reach for the 49ers.

    4. Taking a hit for the team to gain a couple of exta yards closer to the goal line is the opposite of “selfish.”

  53. Stay Classy, Justin Houston…….and that game was the refs fault. Couldn’t even imagine how poorly this game was called. One sided always makes me think of some mafia payoff happening.

  54. What is San Fran going to do now, they built this team to win now . . . and there is not guarantee he will recover by the start of next season. Do they trade to one of the teams that might have a back up that could help them compete this year and maybe hold down the position to start next season? Maybe trade with Cleveland for Tyrod Taylor or Philadelphia for Nick Foles or the Jets for Josh McCown?

  55. As if there’s something wrong with being the #4 rated QB of all-time?
    ————————
    Lol. Rated by what measure?
    =====

    NFL All-time Passer rating;

    1 Aaron Rodgers – 103.8
    2 Russell Wilson – 98.6
    3 Tom Brady – 97.5
    4 Tony Romo – 97.1 (tied with Drew Brees)

  56. patbutler87 says: “I think he has a great career ahead of him but Tom Brady wouldn’t make this play.”
    =======================

    Brady has ran over 130 ‘QB Sneak” plays in his career which is probably a lot more dangerous for a star QB to have 4-5 300lb linemen falling on top of him, not to mention all the linebackers launching like a missile to plug the gaps…

  57. There are a lot of mixed messages out there that young QBs have to sort through. Be a leader but fall down before anyone hits you. Take no risks but dive on any loose ball before the 300 pounders land on you. Stand tall in the pocket but throw the ball away. It’s a game of inches but run out of bounds rather than try to get more. In hindsight yeah, he made a bad split second decision and unfortunately may be looking at a severe outcome. But if you put these guys in glass cages it destroys what it means to be a pro QB and why so many people enjoy the sport — something the league appears intent on learning the hard way.

  58. aarons444
    Sep 24, 2018, 12:14 PM EDT
    As if there’s something wrong with being the #4 rated QB of all-time?
    ————————
    Lol. Rated by what measure?
    =====

    NFL All-time Passer rating;

    1 Aaron Rodgers – 103.8
    2 Russell Wilson – 98.6
    3 Tom Brady – 97.5
    4 Tony Romo – 97.1 (tied with Drew Brees)

    So do you honestly believe Romo is the 4th greatest quarterback to play the game? QBR means almost nothing if you can’t win the big game. All it says is that he could put up good stats but his win/loss record, especially in the playoffs, wasn’t nearly as good. Why don’t you go look at Montana’s QBR and tell me how much of a difference it makes

  59. cobrala2 says:
    September 24, 2018 at 9:48 am
    I’m sorry but that’s silly.

    It was a non-contact injury (as most ACL tears are, in fact) on a run-of-the-mill lateral cutback. If his knee tore from that, it was just waiting to tear
    ______________________________________

    I’m sorry but are you a doctor? HIs ACL tore because he was off balance when he planted his foot, so when he tried to cut his knee was at an awkward angle. how you can say his ACL was ready to tear is beyond me unless you had recent MRI imaging of that knee.

  60. @KCsam

    Don’t get too excited just yet. We’ve seen this movie before with new QB’s and when their is enough tape for DC’s to gameplan for them.

    Also that “weak” 9ER defense gave up less yards in yesterday’s game then the chiefs. That’s 3weeks in a row the KC defense has been torched.

  61. So do you honestly believe Romo is the 4th greatest quarterback to play the game? QBR means almost nothing if you can’t win the big game.
    ======

    Not the point.

    Garoppolo was called ‘Romo Jr’ above.

    Romo did his part to put the Cowboys in a position to be successful. Only 3 QBs in League history played better on average. I’m sure 9ers fans would be thrilled if that’s what they have in Garoppolo.

    Winning will depend on the kind of team they put around him.

  62. Jimmy G is just not that good. Face it, if he was the Pat’s would have never let him go.
    He is at best, a good backup.
    He’ll never lead San Fran anywhere except to the poor farm.
    He’s a good looking loser, that’s all.

  63. They blew it big time with his contract. Niners should have tagged him for ~$23-24M & then signed him if they liked what they saw, or tagged him again for another year if they didn’t come to a deal, or sign him for an even higher amount if clearly warranted after the first tag expired. Point is, they could have hedged their bet vs. risk being damaged long term if things went sideways during year one. The Cousins thing wouldn’t have applied here, totally different. Now here they are with a second round pick QB who is playing as such, and now injured. Niners will NEVER again be over .500 as long as York is the owner.

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