Trey Lance finally took over for Jimmy Garoppolo on Sunday, but it wasn’t because Kyle Shanahan intended to insert the rookie quarterback. A calf injury forced Garoppolo out of action at halftime of their 28-21 loss to the Seahawks, with San Francisco ruling the veteran signal-caller questionable to return coming out of the break. All signs point to Lance remaining under center, however, with Garoppolo telling reporters after the game that he’s hopeful he’ll be sidelined “just a couple weeks.”
“I thought I could keep trying, keep trying to go in,” Garoppolo said, explaining that his calf initially tightened up during the first quarter of Sunday’s loss. “And it kept getting worse and worse … I just felt something go in the calf. I thought I could gut it out, but it’s just tough, man.”
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After lamenting the fact this injury is just the latest to force Garoppolo out of action for an extended period of time (“It’s getting real old,” he told reporters), the quarterback was asked if he thinks he could have torn his Achilles, which would conceivably end his season.
“I don’t think, no,” he said. “I really hope not. It feels like just the calf right now, but I’m hopeful it’ll just be a couple weeks or something like that.”
He added that further testing on his calf, including an MRI scheduled for Monday, should dictate his timeline for recovery.
In other words, it’s suddenly Lance’s show for the foreseeable future. This, of course, is part of the reason the 49ers spent so much to move up and draft Lance, as Shanahan has long said. Garoppolo hasn’t played a full season since 2019, missing a combined 23 games due to injury in 2018 and 2020. And yet the forced switch comes at a crucial time for San Francisco, which now trails both the Cardinals and Rams in the NFC West and is set to visit the former in Week 5.