The San Francisco 49ers took care of business against a red-hot Miami Dolphins team at home on Sunday.
San Francisco’s defense forced a total four turnovers in a 33-17 win to come away with their fifth consecutive victory.
However, there’s a major dark cloud hanging over this most-recent win. Starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo suffered a foot injury on the 49ers’ first drive of the game. He was almost immediately ruled out for the remainder of the matchup after being carted to the locker room.
San Francisco’s fears were realized following the game with news that Garoppolo suffered a Lisfranc injury in the foot. He’ll undergo season-ending injury. In particular, 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan told reporters that Garoppolo suffered multiple breaks in his foot.
Rookie seventh-round pick Brock Purdy replaced Garoppolo under center on Sunday, completing 25-of-37 passes for 210 yards with two touchdowns and one interception in the win. Coined “Mr. Irrelevant” after being the final pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, Purdy looked pretty good in Garoppolo’s stead.
In no way does this mean that the former Iowa State star will be able to take over under center and play at the level of his counterpart moving forward. After all, Garoppolo was playing great football prior to his injury.
- Jimmy Garoppolo stats (2022): 67% completion, 2,381 passing yards, 18 total TD, 4 INT, 103.0 QB rating
One now has to wonder whether Garoppolo has played his final game as a member of the 49ers. Interestingly enough, he took over for an injured Trey Lance back in Week 2 after an off-season filled with speculation that the 49ers were prepared to move off the quarterback. Earlier on Sunday, it was reported that Garoppolo could very well return to the 49ers next season under the right circumstances. Now, we’re not too sure.
Impact of Jimmy Garoppolo injury on the San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco currently finds itself at 8-4 and as the third seed in the NFC. If the season were to end today, it would host the New York Giants in the NFC wild card playoffs.
It goes without saying that a championship-contending team relying on a rookie quarterback to start is not ideal. It also must be noted just how much success the 49ers have had with Garoppolo starting under Shanahan compared to when he’s sidelined.
- San Francisco 49ers record w/ Jimmy Garoppolo: 38-17
- San Francisco 49ers record without Jimmy Garoppolo: 9-29
Despite this, there has to be some confidence that Purdy can lead the ship. San Francisco boasts the best defense in the NFL. It has a toolsy set of skill-positions players including a running back in Christian McCaffrey who went for 146 total yards in Sunday’s win over the Dolphins.
From a micro perspective, we absolutely hate this for Garoppolo. Fair or not, he’s been on the receiving end of criticism for his injury issues. He was playing at the top of his game prior to Sunday’s injury. One now has to wonder where he goes from here.
As for the 49ers, they have only Jacob Eason on the roster behind Purdy. The expectation is that San Francisco will add a veteran free agent at some point in the next few days.