49ers Stuck In Weird Spot With Jimmy Garoppolo

Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers fumbles in the third quarter while being tackled by Al-Quadin Muhammad #97 of the Indianapolis Colts at Levi's Stadium on October 24, 2021 in Santa Clara, California.
(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)


San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan had some criticism about Jimmy Garoppolo after their Sunday Night Football loss to the Indianapolis Colts.

To begin with, the two teams played in unfavorable conditions at Levi’s Stadium.

However, Carson Wentz and the Colts found a way to win.

While Shanahan did not direct his frustration to Garoppolo, he mentioned that their struggles in throwing and holding onto the football caused their demise.

He added that other bad decisions like pass interference calls turned the tide for the Colts.

However, he still called out Garoppolo’s performance after the game and wished he had other quarterback options.

Unfortunately, Trey Lance wasn’t available because he was still recovering from a knee sprain.

But whether Lance is healthy or not, the clock is ticking for Garoppolo’s tenure in San Francisco.


Garoppolo Falling From Grace

Even he admitted that his performance against the Colts was the worst of his season.

Wentz did not have an impressive day either with 150 passing yards and two touchdowns.

But the Colts found a way to win, even if it entailed capitalizing on their opponent’s miscues.

Those penalties by the 49ers helped Jonathan Taylor and Michael Pittman Jr. to have impressive numbers despite the rain.

In contrast, Garoppolo threw two game-changing interceptions that kept the momentum on Indianapolis’ side.

This game could signal the changing of the guard for the 49ers as Shanahan fully commits to Lance as their starter.

If that transition comes sooner than later, Garoppolo will complete the painful journey from hero to liability.

During their Super Bowl season, the former Eastern Illinois standout finished with 3,978 yards and 27 touchdowns.

Unfortunately, he couldn’t sustain that level of production in 2020 due to an ankle injury that left him sidelined for 10 games.

Worse, he wasn’t the same every time he took the field, and he continued to regress this season.

Given his injury history and reduced effectiveness, the 49ers decided he won’t be their quarterback moving forward by selecting Lance.

Despite that scenario, Shanahan kept on naming Garoppolo as his starter while giving Lance some spot minutes.

However, the two-time Super Bowl champion played well enough to keep the job every week.

But his good fortune might come to an end after that poor showing against Indianapolis.


One More Week For Garoppolo?

Lucky for him, Shanahan named him their starter against the Chicago Bears.

This start, though, might be his last for the 49ers.

There’s a mood within the organization that giving the keys to Lance is imminent.

It would have happened earlier if not for the rookie’s knee sprain.

Garoppolo has no leverage on the situation because teams would always love to see how a first-round quarterback will fare in the NFL.

They would like to determine what they’ve got in him to identify areas for improvement if there are any.

More importantly, it helps them assess if they made the right choice of selecting that player.

Until Lance returns to full strength, they’re stuck with Garoppolo at quarterback and hope that he will regain his 2019 form.

Likewise, his presence will hinder Lance’s progress.

But San Francisco need not wait too long to get Garoppolo off their books.

Cutting him from the roster before July 1, 2022, will give them $25.6 million cap savings and only a $1.4 million dead cap.

That’s a small price to pay before moving forward with the quarterback they wanted.

Therefore, Garoppolo is playing on borrowed time, and there’s no way out.

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