NFL

Garoppolo could make postseason return in huge boost for 49ers

By Sports Desk December 06, 2022

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo could be in line to return for the postseason after a report suggested he would not require surgery on his broken left foot.

Garoppolo stayed down after being sacked by both Jaelan Phillips and Jerome Baker during the 49ers' 33-17 win against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.

It was subsequently said he had broken bones in his foot which would likely require surgery, giving rise to fears his season was over.

49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan described the blow of losing his starting quarterback as "crushing", but his fears may yet be allayed, according to a report from ESPN's Adam Schefter.

The report claims Garoppolo avoided a Lisfranc injury and will not require surgery, potentially opening the door to his return to the field within seven to eight weeks.

If Garoppolo was to return within seven weeks, he could feature in any potential NFC Divisional Round game for San Francisco, while the NFC Championship game takes place one week later.

Super Bowl LVII, meanwhile, will take place another two weeks down the line, potentially giving Garoppolo the chance to win his third Super Bowl title.

On Monday, Shanahan indicated Garoppolo's injury may not be as bad as first feared, but was unwilling to speculate until he could give an official diagnosis.

"They're still trying to work through it," Shanahan said. "Some specialists have to finalise it, so we don't want to give you guys any false information. 

"They're discussing all those things, but we're feeling like it's starting to get better than that, so we'll see when we get the official information."

With any potential return for Garoppolo some time away, the 49ers will rely on Brock Purdy – the final pick in this year's draft – to fill the void following an encouraging display against the Dolphins.

On Monday, Shanahan refuted suggestions the 49ers could not compete for honours with Purdy in a starting role, saying: "He's decisive. He started for years [at Iowa State] at a high level. 

"You gotta have some balls to play quarterback in this league, and he does. We think we'll have a chance with him."

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