The 2018 49ers saw their high hopes extinguished quickly with torn ACLs suffered by quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and running back Jerick McKinnon. On Tuesday, coach Kyle Shanahan said both will be cleared to fully participate in training camp.
For now, Garoppolo is participating in team OTA drills. McKinnon isn’t.
“[Garoppolo] won’t be cleared for full team until training camp,” Shanahan said. “He’s on the same plan as [McKinnon]. If [McKinnon] only threw the ball we’d let him do seven-on-seven too, but we can’t have the risk of guys around his legs.”
Shanahan agreed that Garoppolo doesn’t appear to be hindered in any way.
“I think that would be the case for most quarterbacks in this situation,” Shanahan said. “You’re sitting there doing a drop and stuff like that.”
Garoppolo separately told reporters that he can make all the throws, and that he’s happy with the lightweight titanium brace he’s wearing on his left knee.
“Once I’m out there moving around and stuff, I don’t even feel it,” Garoppolo said of the brace. “The first couple weeks it was weird, but after that you get used to it.”
The ability of the 49ers to contend in the NFC West hinges largely on Garoppolo’s ability to play, and to play well. Durability concerns have plagued him since his first extended chance to play, during Tom Brady‘s suspension in 2016. Garoppolo, now entering his sixth NFL season, needs to show that he’s able to show up every week.