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Shanahan explains how the 49ers knew Jimmy Garoppolo’s thumb was hurting him

There was no word of his injury postgame

San Francisco 49ers v Tennessee Titans Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images

One talking point that’s gone around surrounding 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo’s thumb sprain is why wasn’t he listed on the postgame injury report? On Monday, head coach Kyle Shanahan spoke about when Jimmy’s injury happened.

Here’s part of his explanation, with a few follow-ups:

Did Jimmy Garoppolo’s injury affect how he played in the second half?

“I think it affected his throw, just talking to him, on first play of the third quarter. I would say that was the one play that it affected him on the most.”

When did you find out he was injured?

“We knew his thumb was hurting him. We knew he jammed it. We thought he had jammed it at some time in the game. He tells us right when he comes to the bench.”

Shanahan admitting the team knew about Garoppolo’s thumb injury without mentioning it after the game is dangerous.

There were some that doubted whether Garoppolo’s injury was legit or not. However, you could see him shaking off his thumb injury after the play and telling one of his teammates about it afterward:

The skeptic in me wondered why Adam Schefter and Ian Rapoport conveniently brought up the severity of the injury simultaneously as Shanahan. It almost came off as they were doing their best to control the narrative after Jimmy didn’t play well.

Previously, general manager John Lynch explained how Garoppolo dealt with a calf/Achilles injury during Week 3-7. And now, the thumb injury last game. So, basically, saying Jimmy was hurt whenever he played poorly.

Once it was reported that Garoppolo suffered a UCL tear, my mind shifted to “Jimmy might have the worst injury luck, and this is the last way you want to see Trey Lance see the field.” Nobody wants to see the rookie play more than me. We can acknowledge that while also having empathy for Garoppolo’s situation.

Shanahan explained was asked whether he saw any positive plays from Jimmy, and if it was better or worse than initially thought:

Did you see things in Jimmy’s performance that might have been better than we might have thought, might have been worse than we might have thought, just initially?

“Yeah, just overall. I thought the first drive was great. I think that the last drive, going 96 yards with five minutes left, down seven points on the road when things haven’t been perfect when you have a long drive like where you got a chance to go to overtime, I thought that was one of the bigger moments of our year if we could have come through with it and finished there in the end.

But we didn’t, they were able to go down there and kick that field goal. And I thought the interception in the end zone, it was the right decision by Jimmy, that’s where the ball is supposed to go. We got the one-on-one with [TE] George [Kittle], but obviously, the corner had played it so well that I didn’t think it was that hard to see, so Jimmy needed to throw it away.

Instead, he tried to give it to George, and obviously, the corner had played it way too well. He should have thrown it away, he had nothing else. The first throw in the third quarter was not a good one. He knows that you, but I know Jimmy gets a lot of the blame for the game with the two turnovers, which I think other people had responsibility also as always with that. You take those two away and I know he had that one questionable one over the middle, their linebacker dropped, but he played a pretty game without those plays. Those are ones we definitely couldn’t afford to make because of how the game went.”

Garoppolo will try to play through the pain, per Ian Rapoport. My friend, that’s an MD, said this sprain is a 4-week injury, at least. Here’s Dr. Nirav Panday, who is an injury insider for 957 The Game:

Drew Brees suffered a torn UCLA in 2019. He sustained an injury in Week 2 and ended up missing five weeks. It’s tough to compare injuries knowing the pain threshold, along with a few other things, aren’t the same from player to player. Either way, it’s significant and unfortunate for Garoppolo.