Welcome to San Francisco 49ers training camp! And if you followed the updates yesterday, you’d know there are PUP list designations and hints at who will play in the 49ers’ first preseason game against the Dallas Cowboys.
I’ll remind you who won’t be playing: Jimmy Garoppolo.
Kyle mentioned this at the end of his press conference write-up Friday, but it’s worth mentioning again that Garoppolo will not be in the 49ers’ first preseason game. Whether this extends to the entire preseason or not is yet to be determined, but the 49ers (wisely) are using kid gloves as they reintroduce Garoppolo into the swing of things with that rehab.
No, this is not a setback. Where do you want to see Jimmy G? In preseason where he’s freshly cleared, just getting footing on football again, and can re-aggravate that injury, or after some time getting re-acclimated and able to protect himself? It’s a bit disappointing that we can’t see some progress on how he looks to start this madness, but it may be better to put him in something with a bit more control around it; some 11-on-11 drills among other things. Better in that environment instead of a preseason game where some defender tries to make a name for themselves.
Any of you who have injured something for a long length of time know what I’m talking about. There’s being cleared, and then there’s being mentally cleared. Just because you can jump right into things doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a good idea. Especially when you’ve been away from football like Garoppolo has for awhile. If this was a broken arm, being cleared could be a different story, but this is an ACL tear. You don’t [site decorum] with those. Physically Garoppolo should have been cleared as of Friday, but now comes the mental part.
In the meantime, this probably means that C.J. Beathard and Nick Mullens will split snaps with the 1’s for the first game. The competition for backup is going to be fierce and it wouldn’t be surprising to see both of them playing split snaps with the first team for the coaching staff to evaluate. The backup competition is one of the more intriguing competitions of training camp. Neither of these guys can either be on—or make—the practice squad. Mullens played quite well in 2018 while Beathard was a hand-picked draft prospect from the 2017 NFL Draft.
Preseason Week 1 is going to be about the backups. Jimmy G will have to wait.