San Francisco 49ers

Kyle Shanahan ‘not optimistic’ about potential playoff return for Jimmy Garoppolo

The 49ers’ Super Bowl dreams are in disarray this week after quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo broke his foot in San Francisco’s win over the Dolphins on Sunday. Thankfully for 49ers Faithful, backup QB Brock Purdy entered the game and filled in admirably.

But there is still hope Garoppolo can return for the latter stages of the playoffs, assuming the 49ers can make it that far. Those hopes sprouted after a report from NFL insider Adam Schefter, who said Garoppolo could potentially return in time for the NFC Championship game.

But Shanahan said Wednesday that he’s not optimistic about that prospect. He did acknowledge there’s a “way outside chance” Garoppolo could return late in the playoffs, however. Shanahan’s comment comes courtesy of KNBR’s Jake Hutchinson.

Shanahan first mentioned Garoppolo’s offseason rehab, and then he brushed off any realistic chance that Garoppolo can help San Francisco win it all this season. But he didn’t deny that it’s possible Garoppolo could return, as Schefter reported.

That makes sense to me because as coach of the team, Shanahan can only concern himself with players on the roster that are certain to suit up in the coming weeks, and that does not include Garoppolo. Shanahan is essentially shelving that conversation until it comes up again — if it even does.

First, it’s up to Purdy to take over and continue the 49ers’ momentum. If San Francisco doesn’t keep winning games, any conversation regarding Garoppolo is a waste of breath. Many football fans and observers like what they saw from Purdy though, including former NFL All-Pro Michael Irvin, who said Purdy reminded him of Tom Brady.

While that may seem far-fetched, and in all likelihood is a gross misjudgment of Purdy’s ability, we’ll soon find out how good he really is. Or at least, how ready Purdy is to lead the 49ers to the playoffs. If he can do so, this conversation regarding Garoppolo will certainly pick up again, and that will be great news for 49ers fans.

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