The San Francisco 49ers are overhauling their training staff and strength and conditioning staff, but rehab work continues apace for quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and running back Jerick McKinnon. And general manager John Lynch had an update on their progress.
Lynch spoke with SiriusXM NFL Radio’s Movin’ The Chains show on Monday, and he told them that recently he looked out his office window and saw Garoppolo throwing the football with McKinnon. There is a difference between just throwing the ball, and being ready to throw the ball in drills, but this is a notable step forward. Even without putting everything into it, throwing requires some semblance of planting in the throw. Again, it’s still very much the middle of this rehab process, but it’s good news.
Lynch talked again about the value of Garoppolo and McKinnon getting to work together on this rehab. Any kind of long-term injury like this can be a mental drain, so having a teammate to work with is only going to help the process.
“There’s nothing good about having two of your best players go down with ACLs. The positive spin though is that Jimmy has someone to go through this with, with Jerick McKinnon, who was about six weeks ahead of him when he tore his ACL. And so, they’ve been able to motivate each other, push each other. That’s an arduous rehab, but I think the fact they’ve had each other has made it really good. They’ve had no setbacks, and so, they just gotta keep going.”
Lynch discussed how Garoppolo has kept busy from a mental standpoint as well.
“Jimmy did a really nice job as well of — we all got together, Kyle, myself, and Jimmy and quarterback coach Rich Scangarello, who’s now with the Denver Broncos — and said we can’t just waste this in terms of, physically you gotta get better, but we also gotta find a way to, neck up, to find a way to improve. So Jimmy logged a lot of hours with the coaches when they had time, and managed to improve himself there as well.”
Back in October, head coach Kyle Shanahan said his hope was for Garoppolo to be able to “do some non-contact stuff with throwing the ball and everything” in the spring when the 49ers get into OTAs. The offseason workout program begins in mid-April, with OTAs starting later in May. There is still a lot of work to be done before then, but the process appears to be on the right track.