As the 49ers try to play spoiler against the Cardinals and the Seahawks, they won’t be getting their starting quarterback, um, back.
The 49ers have announced that the practice window has opened for Jimmy Garoppolo‘s return from Injured Reserve. However, coach Kyle Shanahan told reporters that Garoppolo won’t play in either of the final two games.
Garoppolo originally suffered a sprained ankle in Week Two. He returned in Week Five, but he wasn’t fully healed. He played the next three games and then re-injured the ankle. He hasn’t played since Week Eight.
Given that the 49ers have been eliminated from playoff consideration, there’s no strategic reason for playing him that’s relevant to the 2020 season. However, the 49ers have a decision to make about Garoppolo in the offseason. His practice performance likely won’t do much to influence a decision that will be made based on prior performances.
Garoppolo has a $24.1 million base salary in 2021, and he’s signed through 2022. The 49ers could easily get out from under the balance of his contract, if they want, either by cutting him or by trading him.