As he enters this off-season after suffering a sprain on his right ankle that cost him 10 games, Garoppolo’s goal isn’t just to get back 100%. It’s also about figuring out how to stay that way.
“It’s all about availability,” said Garoppolo. “I know that. It’s been a series of unfortunate events with injuries and things like that, but one thing I’m looking forward to is preparing for this off-season. Getting the body back where it needs to be, relying on it prepare next season. “
From today’s perspective, Garoppolo remains the 49ers’ starting quarterback, according to trainer Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch. While the Niners left a little wiggle room, an upgrade should be available – Deshaun Watson, someone? – It is still entirely possible, if not likely, that Garoppolo will be the focus for the Niners to kick off the 2021 season. If so, expect the Niners to step up the options behind him with a relatively highly drafted quarterback, a veteran with starting experience, or both.
In order for Garoppolo to remain the starting QB, he must first do everything possible to stay on the field. In the last three seasons Garoppolo has missed 23 starts. Even before arriving in San Francisco, Garoppolo was unable to stay healthy with limited opportunities to enter the US New England Patriotswhen a sprained right shoulder cost him two possible starts instead of Tom Brady.
There’s no common denominator between the injuries, and calamity is undoubtedly part of it, but Garoppolo intends to explore options that can prevent further problems and remove the injury-prone label.
“It was obviously a bit of bad luck, but you can’t relate everything to that,” said Garoppolo. “I always try to look for new things for my body, new things to eat, new exercise, exercise routine, whatever it is. So I always try to mess things up in the off-season and figure out what is for me works, but yeah, it’ll be the same this off-season. Just try to get advice from people, talk to people, see what they’ve done in the past, and a lot of things come together. “
For Garoppolo, things never quite came together. He was in control throughout the 2019 season when the 49ers advanced to Super Bowl LIV. Garoppolo’s struggles in the second half of that game raised further questions about whether he could develop into the quarterback the Niners need to get over the hill.
Shanahan and Lynch briefly came up with the idea of signing Brady in the final off-season, though it never went anywhere and they didn’t chase the future Hall of Famer. The hope was that a second healthy season in a row would allow Garoppolo to take the next step, much like Matt Ryan did in his second full season under Shanahan with the Atlanta Falcons.
That idea never caught on when Garoppolo sprained his right ankle during the first half of week two New York Jets. When he said he came back against them too early in week 5 Miami DolphinsGaroppolo was not completely healed. In week 8 he sprained his ankle again.
“We’re encouraged because when he saw the specialist and I think that was the reluctance to get him back outside, the severity of his second high ankle or re-injury led to, ‘Hey there is an option where he is she might have an operation, “said Lynch. “We absolutely wanted to avoid that. We made it.”
All of this has sparked speculation that the Niners may continue from Garoppolo. After all, they have a roster capable of competing for Super Bowls, but that task becomes nearly impossible with backup quarterbacks being the focus most of the time.
Even so, Lynch and Shanahan firmly believe that Garoppolo will return, despite the fact that with the restriction they always check each position for possible improvement.
With backups Nick Mullens (restricted) and C. J. Beathard The 49ers will have at least some revenue this off-season. It is clear that Garoppolo’s injury history will force the Niners to invest more resources there, and potentially devise a long-term replacement with more upside potential than Garoppolo, much like the one he did with the Kansas City Chiefs moved in Patrick Mahomes With Alex Smith on the roster.
In the meantime, the rumors will continue to swirl. As Garoppolo notes, that’s part of the deal as starting quarterback in the NFL.
“All of those things are said but at the end of the day I’m a 49er,” said Garoppolo. “I’m here to be the quarterback for this team and every day I go out and try to prove it to my teammates and coaches. In the end, it really matters.
“Until next season, I’m going into the off-season. I’ll make a list of goals for myself, whether it’s accuracy or throws, but durability is number one right now. We’ll attack.” that, but then, as far as we prepare for next year, as long as the ankle is good, I think we are in a good place. “