Just how bad was Garoppolo’s initial injury? There reportedly were differing opinions.
“There was actually some tension, and some clashing, differing on opinions about his previous high ankle sprain, and now he’s got another one on top of that,” CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora said Monday on FOX Sports Radio’s “The Jason Smith Show.”
Now, the QB’s high ankle sprain has reached new heights and he’s expected to be out for at least the next six weeks. The real question is, how do the 49ers feel behind closed doors about Garoppolo’s future?
The 49ers have declined to use injuries as an excuse, but they have used 70 players in eight games. For context, only 65 players appeared in a 49ers regular-season game in 2019.
With injuries still accumulating, it’s increasingly difficult to see how the defending NFC champions can continue to stay in the playoff mix. The 49ers are entering a stretch in which six of their final eight games are against opponents that currently have a winning record, a schedule that is the third hardest in the NFL.
In the past, the 49ers have received impressive contributions from backups, but it will take a Herculean effort from multiple backups for them to earn a playoff spot.
The San Francisco 49ers quarterback is in his seventh year in the league, his first three, of course, backing up Tom Brady in New England so let’s just focus on the last four in San Francisco. Of those four seasons, Garoppolo has only recorded one full season as the starting quarterback (2019). The 49ers made it to the Super Bowl after posting a 13-3 record last season, but came up short to Patrick Mahomes and Kansas City Chiefs.
A year removed in 2020, Garoppolo and the 49ers have taken a massive u-turn. The injury bug has not only bitten, but feasted on just about every position on the reigning NFC Champions, including Jimmy G. In Week 2, Garoppolo suffered a high ankle sprain against the New York Jets and hasn’t looked the same since.
In addition to Dillon’s positive test, the NFL determined both running back Jamaal Williams and rookie linebacker Kamal Martin were designated as high-risk close contacts. and were told to stay away from the team until Saturday. Dillon, the infected individual, was in close contact with Williams and Martin on Sunday — hence the five-day incubation period. Both players have been away from the team’s facility and have not practiced.
So why will this game be played as scheduled when other NFL games, notably two New England Patriots games and a Tennessee Titans game with the Buffalo Bills that was moved until Tuesday in Week 5 of the season?
Part of it is that Green Bay is traveling to San Francisco, which is different from New England and Tennessee having games postponed. The other part is that only three players have been quarantined.
“Kwon’s time with our team might not have been long but it was very impactful,” Lynch said in a statement from the team. “A tremendous teammate, his non-stop motor, ferocious play and selfless nature helped establish a standard for our locker room that will carry on. On behalf of the entire organization, I want to wish Kwon all the best and think him for all of his contributions to our team.”
It’s quite an endorsement, but it was well-earned. Alexander played a critical role in changing the 49ers’ mindset on defense, and he remains popular with the coaching staff despite the time he’s missed with injuries. Maybe he can pull a similar move with helping the Saints defenders get their swagger back.
The historical significance of the first half of Aiyuk’s rookie campaign doesn’t stop there.
His 28 receptions are the fourth-most by a 49ers rookie through his seven games, trailing Earl Cooper (40), Michael Crabtree (32) and Ricky Watters (30).
Aiyuk’s 371 yards are the second-most through seven games behind Crabtree’s 406, and his 13.25 yards per reception is the highest mark among 49ers rookies with at least 20 catches through seven games. He and Cooper are the only two among that group with two touchdown receptions.