The 49ers aren’t simply keeping quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo in bubble wrap by not letting him practice. They basically have excommunicated him from the rest of the team, without cutting him.
Coach Kyle Shanahan addressed Garoppolo’s day-to-day status with reporters on Wednesday.
“He was in this morning, doing his throwing program,” Shanahan said. “I don’t think he’s still here, so he came in and did that and he got out, so I’ll stay in communication with Jimmy. We’ll keep doing that and take it one day at a time.”
Basically, Garoppolo can come and go as he pleases.
“We’re saying, go ahead you don’t have to be here,” Shanahan said. “Anything he wants to be at he can. I think Jimmy, like I said yesterday, Jimmy, [G.M.] John [Lynch], and I talked for a while. We understand every part of this situation and I think both sides know each side is doing as good as we can.”
Shanahan was asked whether there’s a scenario in which Garoppolo could be on the roster if he’s not traded by then.
“I don’t give an absolute anything, so yeah, I’m sure I could come up with the scenario, but I think I said earlier that would surprise me and I still feel that way,” Shanahan said.
Frankly, as the 49ers wait for a starting quarterback elsewhere to suffer a season-ending injury, it could happen to Trey Lance. And that would be a scenario that would keep Garoppolo on the roster for the season.
The approach requires Garoppolo to play along, and he apparently is. They can’t keep him away from the team. They arguably can’t keep him off the practice field. But he’d have to be willing to press the issue.
For now, he apparently isn’t. Still, without Garoppolo placing pressure on the 49ers to make a move, they’ll be more likely to string this out until after the preseason ends, cutting Garoppolo just before the start of the season and making it harder for him to find a new home in 2022.