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Can Jimmy Garoppolo return for 49ers in playoffs?

The QB is progressing in his recovery from a foot injury. We break down whether or not he has a shot to return this postseason.

San Francisco 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo has been sidelined for most of the second half of the 2023 season due to a foot injury. He hasn’t played since Dec. 4 but ESPN’s Adam Schefter is reporting some good news as the Niners head into the Divisional Round against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday. We’re going to take a look at the report and update you on Jimmy G’s status for the postseason.

Jimmy Garoppolo injury updates

Sunday, January 29 update — Garoppolo won’t be active for the team’s NFC Championship matchup with the Eagles, per Ian Rapoport. However, if they advance Rapoport is reporting he is “finally at a point where practicing is possible.” He won’t start ahead of a healthy Brock Purdy if the 49ers advance to the Super Bowl, but he could be available as a backup.

Monday, January 23 update — The 49ers beat the Cowboys in the Divisional Round and will travel to face the Eagles in the NFC Championship Game. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo was inactive once again and head coach Kyle Shanahan said he will get another x-ray on his foot on Tuesday, per Cam Inman. Shanahan said he would be “very surprised” if Garoppolo could be activated for the Eagles game, but there’s some speculation that he could be available to back up Brock Purdy if the 49ers advance to the Super Bowl.

Saturday, January 21 update — According to head coach Kyle Shanahan, there’s an “outside chance” that Jimmy G can return for the NFC Championship game if the 49ers advance past the Cowboys on Sunday.

The more likely scenario is that Garoppolo can return for the Super Bowl if the Niners make it that far. Seeing as Brock Purdy has filled in nicely, it would be a pretty tough call for Shanahan to turn to Jimmy G after Purdy got you that far. It would be a nice insurance policy in case Purdy does struggle down the stretch and Garoppolo is healthy.

Purdy’s first test will be against the Cowboys after a convincing win over the Seattle Seahawks in the Wild Card round. He threw for 332 yards and three TDs against Seattle. Dallas has a much better defense and pass rush, which should be able to pressure Purdy. We’ll see if the Niners can get by the Cowboys and how Purdy performs. If Purdy struggles, but the San Fran D holds up, we could see Jimmy G down the road.