Kyle’s update, 3:32 p.m.: Per Ian Rapoport, Jimmy G suffered a chipped bone and torn ligament in his right thumb:
Sources: #49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo suffered a chipped bone and torn ligament in his right thumb. His status is in doubt for this weekend, but he’s going to try to gut it out, somehow. He’ll be reevaluated on Wednesday.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 27, 2021
Adam Schefter adds that Jimmy’s injury is a “right thumb UCL tear, along with a fracture.”
49ers’ QB Jimmy Garoppolo suffered a right thumb UCL tear along with a fracture, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 27, 2021
Based on what I know, that’s a 4-week injury.
The Athletic’s Matt Barrows tweeted 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo was absent from Monday’s bonus practice, and, immediately, the speculation began.
Did John Lynch really leave Jimmy in Nashville? Is it Trey Lance’s time with two weeks to go in the season? The conjecture ran rampant for roughly an hour before head coach Kyle Shanahan spoke with the media.
First and foremost, my initial thought was hoping Garoppolo was OK. Generally, when there’s an abrupt absence from practice, a player has to deal with an emergency or personal matter.
Right before Shanahan spoke, Adam Schefter tweeted that Garoppolo suffered from a right thumb sprain injury. Shanahan confirmed as much, saying the injury “didn’t feel great today” for Garoppolo, and that’s why he wasn’t on hand. Shanahan said that he believed the injury happened on one of the sacks that came against the Titans.
Shanahan wouldn’t confirm whether Garoppolo would practice Wednesday. Jimmy will be re-evaluated on Wednesday, where Shanahan will determine which quarterback gives the team the best chance to win.
He mentioned that if Garoppolo’s thumb impacts his throwing, that could open the door for Trey Lance, who just so happened to have his best month of practice ever, per Shanahan: This past month has been Trey’s best four weeks of consecutive practices since we’ve had him.” Separately, he added, this past month has been his best.”
Almost instantaneously after Shanahan’s call, Schefter tweeted that Garoppolo is suffering “a more significant injury” than a right thumb sprain. So it sounds like we’ll be seeing a pair of rookie quarterbacks under center Sunday in Lance versus Davis Mills.
I asked Kyle what Lance had done this past month that’s made it his best since he became a Niner. Shanahan talked about how Lance is throwing the ball better, how he’s gotten healthier — Shanahan acknowledged Lance was dealing with a broken bone in his finger — and how he “plays different” now.
Punter Mitch Wishnowsky was placed on the COVID-19 list. That’s the first member on the team to be placed on the COVID list this season. Shanahan said all close contacts are OK, and the team is not concerned about an outbreak. However, there’s a possibility Wishnowsky still punts Sunday with two confirmed negative tests.
Azeez Al-Shaair suffered a knee sprain and will miss the next two weeks. Shanahan wouldn’t declare him out for the season, but we do not see Al-Shaair until the playoffs.
Elijah Mitchell has a chance to play Sunday. The 49ers could use him in the backfield. It’ll be nice to see him with Lance.
Emmanuel Moseley has an outside chance to play in Week 18, as does Dre Greenlaw. Shanahan said he’s more hopeful Greenlaw returns against the Rams but wouldn’t rule out this upcoming week.
Against the Rams, knowing it’s a must-win, it would be all hands on deck. The 49ers would need Moseley and Greenlaw.