Saturday update: According to Adam Schefter, there’s a “strong lean” towards Garoppolo starting in Week 18 against the Rams. The 49ers want to go with the veteran in a must-win situation, even if he’s less than 100 percent.
Friday update: Garoppolo is officially listed as questionable, but is seemingly trending towards playing in what is effectively must-win game for the 49ers. San Francisco can still make the playoffs with a loss but would need the Saints to also lose.
Friday update: 49ers beat writer Matt Maiocco reported on Friday that, “[s]igns from the 49ers’ Santa Clara practice field point toward Jimmy Garoppolo returning to action Sunday for the 49ers’ all-important regular-season finale against the Los Angeles Rams.”
Thursday update: Garoppolo was throwing passes at practice and appeared to be doing a little more than Wednesday. He was listed as limited again.
Jimmy Garoppolo threw several crisp passes during warmups of 49ers practice, including this one further downfield pic.twitter.com/HGMyb5LkHX— David Lombardi (@LombardiHimself) January 6, 2022
The San Francisco 49ers return to practice on Wednesday to open Week 18 and expect Jimmy Garoppolo to return in limited fashion. Head coach Kyle Shanahan told the media on Wednesday that Garoppolo was able to throw the ball on Tuesday, which is enough to get in at least a limited workout.
Garoppolo sprained a ligament in his right thumb and was unable to practice in Week 17. Rookie Trey Lance got the start against the Houston Texans and completed 16 of 23 passes for 249 yards with two touchdowns, an interception, and 31 rushing yards in the win.
Fantasy football implications
Garoppolo’s injury seems similar to an injury that cost New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees more than a month in 2019. It’s possible Garoppolo’s injury is less severe or he’s a faster healer, but it still seems unlikely he is able to play in Week 18.
The 49ers need a win or tie, OR a Saints loss or tie to get a playoff spot. Garoppolo is a solid enough quarterback but his ceiling is fairly limited. Lance has a lower DFS floor this year, but a higher ceiling.