When Jimmy Garoppolo is healthy, will he play?

San Francisco 49ers v Denver Broncos
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Under the timetable that was leaked to the media on Tuesday, 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo could be able to return for the divisional round of the playoffs, at the earliest. So when that time comes, what will the 49ers do?

The question isn’t relevant for now, obviously. They have five regular-season games to play without Garoppolo, and at least one playoff game. That gives rookie Brock Purdy six more chances to show what he can do. To develop confidence and experience, and to prove that he can be trusted.

So when Garoppolo is cleared to play, the question will become whether the 49ers are better off with Purdy or Garoppolo, given that Garoppolo will have not played in nearly two months.

If the 49ers will have just won a playoff game with Purdy when Garoppolo is ready to return, why would the 49ers go back to Garoppolo?

Then there’s the issue of 2023. If Purdy shows enough to be the backup to Trey Lance, why upset the applecart by giving Garoppolo a chance to win a playoff game or two — and complicate the team’s ability to finally move on from Jimmy G in the offseason?

Regardless of how it plays out, the idea that Garoppolo automatically will play again when cleared to play overlooks the possibility that Purdy will be playing well enough by then that coach Kyle Shanahan won’t want to make a change. Throw in the 2023 wrinkle, and it could be in the team’s best short- and long-term interests to treat the Garoppolo injury as the season-ender that Shanahan originally said it was.

7 responses to “When Jimmy Garoppolo is healthy, will he play?

  1. There’s a lot of “if’s” there. Defenses tend to catch up with rookie 7th round QBs once there’s game film.

  2. What if Purdy tanks and barely makes the playoffs and then loses in the playoffs before Jimmy G is healthy enough to come back?

  3. Why is everyone assuming they’re going to make it. If they don’t win that division, they probably won’t. Every team in the East has just as good of a record or better.

  4. I believe Jimmy has played his last snap as a 49ers. If the niners make it that far then it’s likely the purdy has played reasonably well. 2023 will almost certainly be the year of Lance or as a long shot Brady

  5. It’s hilarious how Santa Clara fans think Brock Purdy is the second coming of Joe Montana 😜

  6. Look, let’s be real: On the 49ers roster, the weak link has been QB for years now. That said, Garoppolo has proven he’s a legitimate, decent NFL QB…but only when he’s 100% healthy.

    The percentage chance of Purdy proving to have a similar quality of play as a healthy JG over the next 6 games? It’s like 2%.

    So if Garoppolo is available for the playoffs, he’d start – and Purdy would be ready to go in relief. But I doubt JG will be available until February, which means the Super Bowl. The 49ers probably won’t get that far, so…not a big deal either way.

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