Kyle Shanahan said George Kittle would return to practice this week, but it makes more sense to let him fully heal now that the Niners have eight losses.
McGlinchey stood out on the final series when he was flagged for a holding penalty against defensive end Montez Sweat, which wiped out a 22-yard catch-and-run by Bourne. Sweat also knocked McGlinchey backward and into Mullens on the 49ers’ final fourth-down pass, which also was to Bourne and came up short of a first down.
Otherwise, McGlinchey had a good game. Mullens’ second-quarter fumble came on McGlinchey’s side of the line, but McGlinchey had blocked his man well on the play. For McGlinchey, the game was a lot like a Week 4 loss to the Eagles in that some bad plays at game’s end tainted the overall perception of his performance. McGlinchey has allowed just three sacks on the season. By comparison, Williams has allowed five.
“I think it’s up in the air,” Shanahan said of Garoppolo. “I’m waiting to hear from the doctors. When you have the high ankle sprain that he had — it was worse than everyone else — it was so close to surgery.
“The only way we are going to put him out there is if it’s completely healed. We aren’t going to risk him having surgery. I don’t want to put him out there the last game or two with the chance of him re-injuring it and having to have surgery.”
Mullens has nine giveaways in five starts since starter Jimmy Garoppolo went down with his second ankle injury this season.
‘’At some point, it has to be done to give this team a chance to win,’’ Mullens said about eliminating the turnovers. ‘’If you turn the ball over, you’re not going to win football games and that’s really, that’s what it comes down to.’’
Shanahan said Garoppolo isn’t ready to return to practice this week and it’s still ‘’up in the air’’ whether he will return this season.
The 49ers have had the worst luck imaginable this season (par for the course in this hellish calendar year). At 5-8 after a loss to Washington, the 49ers are going to start to shift into evaluation mode as they prepare for the future. We know the big question mark lies at quarterback.
To Jimmy Garoppolo or not to Jimmy Garoppolo?
If the answer is no, the 49ers have found out Nick Mullens is not the answer. He’s been below replacement-level play over the last few weeks. If the 49ers look to the NFL trade market to replace Garoppolo this offseason, one veteran signal-caller should have caught their attention with his play Sunday against one of the NFL’s top teams.
It’s clear the 49ers will re-evaluate the quarterback position this offseason. If they do decide to move on from Garoppolo, there’s one clear trade option that’s emerging: Matthew Stafford.
The soon-to-be 33-year-old quarterback has played his entire career for a Lions franchise that failed to put an offensive line, running game, pass-catching weapons, or a defense around him. Stafford wasted most of his prime getting bludgeoned to death playing for a pitiful franchise.
But he still has more than enough left to quarterback a good team with an elite play-caller and a good defense to a deep playoff run. He showed that Sunday, going 24-for-34 for 244 yards and a touchdown against the Green Bay Packers before leaving with a rib injury.
The Lions’ franchise is coming to a crossroads. After firing Matt Patricia and general manager Bob Quinn, Detroit could be headed for a full-scale rebuild. If they are, they owe Stafford.
The 49ers began the day with a 28% chance of making the postseason, according to ESPN’s Football Power Index. That number would have jumped to 35% with a victory. Instead, it plummets to 14.7% with the defeat.
With games remaining against Dallas, Arizona and Seattle, the Niners are still mathematically in the playoff race, but they are eliminated from the NFC West race. Given how they’ve played the past two weeks — and, really, all season — it’s hard to see them stringing together the wins to pull off such an improbable feat.
More likely, Sunday’s loss will be the death knell in a season that’s seemed cursed from the beginning, and it’s almost time to look ahead to what will be a busy and interesting offseason by the Bay.