Jimmy Garoppolo may not be done for the season after all.
The San Francisco 49ers quarterback, who was initially ruled out for the rest of the season after breaking his foot in Sunday's win over the Miami Dolphins, does not need foot surgery after all, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
If his rehab goes well, Garoppolo could return in seven to eight weeks — which would put him back in the mix in time for the divisional round of the playoffs.
49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan confirmed as much Wednesday, saying there's a slim chance Garoppolo is able to return for the playoffs. Shanahan said he was not optimistic it would happen, but he wouldn't fully rule out a return for Garoppolo.
Kyle Shanahan on #49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo, confirms no ligament damage: "Still going to be a big recovery. There's that way outside chance (of a return) late in the playoffs but just an outside chance. Not real optimistic about it but never rule it out."
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) December 7, 2022
Garoppolo was carted off the field Sunday, and coach Kyle Shanahan said after that he broke a “few things” in his foot. The initial thought was that Garoppolo, who replaced starter Trey Lance early in the season after he went down, would be done for the season.
That paved the way for former Iowa State star Brock Purdy, who led the 49ers to a 33-17 win, to finish out the season.
Though the news on Garoppolo is certainly promising, there’s still no guarantee that he’d be ready to take the field by the end of the year. Purdy will still have to lead the 49ers deep into the postseason — they are leading the NFC West, and would be the third seed in the NFC if the playoffs started today — for Garoppolo to have a team to return to. And, of course, that is if his rehab goes smoothly and he’s able to pick right back up where he left off.
Garoppolo, 31, has thrown for 2,437 yards and 16 touchdowns with 4 interceptions in 11 games this season. Seven weeks would be pushing it for the divisional round, making the NFC championship game a much more likely return date if things go well.