Shanahan praises Jimmy G's mettle after playing with injury originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
Jimmy Garoppolo played over 25 game minutes with a high ankle sprain Sunday at MetLife Stadium.
It was only the fourth offensive play of the 49ers’ 31-13 Week 2 win over the New York Jets when Garoppolo’s injury occurred. He battled through the pain of his injury until the end of the first half but did not return after the intermission.
It's somewhat remarkable Garoppolo continued playing while visibly favoring his injured ankle, and his hobbled performance was quite impressive. The 49ers quarterback completed 14 of his 16 attempts for 131 yards and two touchdowns resulting in a 140.4 rating before exiting the game.
Coach Kyle Shanahan was impressed by his quarterback’s mettle, which has been witnessed before. The head coach has joked that the Garoppolo plays better after taking a hit.
“No, he does,” Shanahan said on Monday. “He’s pretty consistent with that. He even says it, too. So, I told him we can hit him with a bat on the way out before we start if that'll help him, but we kind of laughed at it.”
Garoppolo has been described by teammates as unflappable in tough situations. That apparently also applies to when he's a little nicked up in games as well.
After Sunday’s game, both Jordan Reed and Brandon Aiyuk claimed they knew nothing about their quarterback’s injury until he was pulled from the game. Garoppolo’s composure in the huddle didn’t lead them to believe otherwise.
Joking aside, Shanahan admires Garoppolo’s tenacity while playing injured. One play, in particular, stood out to the head coach.
“Jimmy's a physical guy and lots of guys, that kind of gets them going in the game and gets you more alert,” Shanahan said. “Jimmy plays with a lot of grit. For him to hurt his ankle like he did, the next series in, we had a third down where people weren't open on.
“They got us in the right call for him to scramble to the right when he barely could move, make that throw to Aiyuk to move the chains that led to a 14-play drive. He really gutted it out. As tough of a guy as I’ve been around.”
Shanahan told the media Monday that there is an outside chance Garoppolo could play in Week 3 when the 49ers face the New York Giants. The quarterback’s ankle sprain isn’t as serious as initially believed.
There is some trepidation by 49ers players and staff about playing on the MetLife Stadium turf again Sunday after the 49ers had six players suffer leg injuries on the same surface against the Jets.
Even if Garoppolo is medically cleared to play, there is a chance Nick Mullens will be under center anyways to give Garoppolo another week to heal and not risk further damage on the sticky turf.