The San Francisco 49ers have the day off Tuesday. They’ll return to the practice field on Wednesday, where the hope is that Jimmy Garoppolo does the same.
One intact reputation we can pull from Sunday’s wreckage: Verrett’s. Yes, he took an abysmally bad tackling angle on a Dolphins third-and-long play. (Miami came up a yard short but gained a first down on a fake punt on the next play.) His coverage, however, again was strong. He allowed one catch for 6 yards. In the last three games, he’s allowed 24 yards through the air.
There’s a possibility that both Richard Sherman and Emmanuel Moseley return to action this week. If so, Verrett has a strong case for remaining in the starting lineup.
The San Francisco 49ers’ already thin cornerback group is going to have to wait at least another week to get Richard Sherman back from injured reserve.
Niners coach Kyle Shanahan said Monday that Sherman, who has been on injured reserve since Week 2 with a calf injury, will not return to practice this week as originally planned after having some issues with his leg last week.
“We were hoping to get him back this week,” Shanahan said. “Some setbacks last week, the healing hasn’t gone the way we were hoping for. I know we’re going to try a few different procedures this week, but I know I’m not counting on him this week. We’ll see how that goes with the new stuff we’re gonna try.”
Asked what type of procedures the Niners have in mind for Sherman, Shanahan said there were some injections that he was hoping could help.
“He’s gonna get some shots that he thinks can help in his leg,” Shanahan said. “No surgeries or anything, just different types of shots to take to see if they can take the inflammation down and stuff like that.”
The Niners easily could have recouped draft capital for Garoppolo in a trade and possibly saved some much-needed cap space, too. Now, the franchise could just as likely release Garoppolo following this season for nothing in return and be back at square one.
Would that have been a bold decision? Absolutely. Is it unfair to expect any front office to make such a change after a Super Bowl appearance? Perhaps. But dynasties are built by making the right moves, not the easy or most popular ones. It would’ve been criticized at the time, but who’d be laughing now?
Regardless of the logic, Shanahan, general manager John Lynch and Co. have had four inflection points at quarterback. It looks like they’ve been wrong every time. They chose Hoyer over Kaepernick, Thomas and Beathard over Mahomes or Watson, Garoppolo over Kirk Cousins, and passed on Cam Newton.
STORY OF THE GAME
Garoppolo was abysmal before getting the hook for C.J. Beathard in the second half. He completed only seven of his 17 pass attempts for 77 yards and two interceptions and even struggled from a clean pocket, connecting on only 6-of-14 clean-pocket attempts for 72 yards and the two interceptions.
Beathard was no better from a clean pocket, as he only picked up 81 yards after completing just 7 of his 13 attempts, although he did throw a touchdown pass to Kendrick Bourne.
Through the first four games, San Francisco has benefited from mostly playing opponents boasting low-ranked offenses: the Cardinals (25th), Jets (28th), Giants (32nd), and Eagles (31st) each ranked at or near the bottom of Football Outsiders’ offensive efficiency rankings entering Sunday. The Niners’ 25-20 loss to the Eagles revealed the dent in their armor, and despite the Dolphins not ranking much higher entering the contest (22nd), their offense aggressively exploited San Francisco’s deficiencies and then some. Fitzpatrick completed passes of 32 and 47 yards to receiver Preston Williams, a 70-yard pass to tight end Mike Gesicki, a 31-yard pass to running back Matt Breida, and a 22-yard touchdown to DeVante Parker. San Francisco sacked Fitzpatrick twice, but he produced a sterling 99.1 QBR.
The Dolphins logged 5 sacks on 49ers quarterbacks and completely rattled Jimmy Garoppolo’s cage in the first half. It got so bad that Garoppolo resorted to throwing off his back foot down the field to avoid pressures and gift-wrapped two interceptions for the Dolphins. One pick came via Bobby McCain at free safety, the other came from Xavien Howard (his third in three games). With Jerome Baker and Elandon Roberts prowling interior gaps, the Dolphins took advantage of erratic protection to pressure both Garoppolo and his second half replacement, C.J. Beathard.
As a result, San Francisco never found their rhythm.