Jimmy Garoppolo Has a Right Thumb Injury

With Garoppolo day to day, Trey Lance is in line for his second start

SANTA CLARA, California – The San Francisco 49ers resumed practice Monday after a long holiday weekend without starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.

That’s because Garoppolo suffered what a source described to ESPN’s Adam Schefter as a torn ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) of the right thumb, as well as a fracture to the same thumb, during Thursday’s 20-17 loss to the Los Angeles. Tennessee Titans. His status for Sunday’s game against the Houston Texans remains uncertain.

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Jimmy Garoppolo reportedly injured himself after a sack against the Titans. Getty

Garoppolo did not participate in Monday’s practice for the Niners, which came after the team broke up for the final three days after the loss in Nashville. Rookie quarterback Trey Lance took all the work with the starters in Monday’s session, which coach Kyle Shanahan described as light.

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According to Shanahan, Garoppolo suffered the injury when Titans defensive tackle Denico Autry sacked him for a 7-yard loss with 3:56 left in the second quarter. Garoppolo finished the game, but struggled with a pair of costly interceptions and missed a possible touchdown shot for Kyle Juszczyk in the first half.

Shanahan noted that Garoppolo was hampered by his thumb on the Niners’ first offensive play of the third quarter, a pass intended for wide receiver Deebo Samuel who sailed into the arms of Titans safety Amani Hooker for an interception that Tennessee converted to tie the play.

Garoppolo finished 26 of 35 for 322 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions for a 44.4 QBR.

“We knew his thumb was hurting him,” Shanahan said. “We think he got stuck at some point in the game, so he tells us right when he comes to the bench.”

With Garoppolo day to day, Lance could be in line for his first extended job with the headlines since a Week 5 loss to Arizona. And if Garoppolo can’t recover well enough to play Sunday, Lance would make his second career start against Houston.

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Shanahan indicated that the decision will come down not just to how Garoppolo feels, but also how he sees himself pitching, if he progresses to that stage. As for Lance, Shanahan noted that the No. 3 overall pick in this year’s draft has come a long way: better decision-making and accuracy, among other things.

“I think this last month for Trey has been his best four consecutive weeks in practice since we had him,” Shanahan stressed. “He’s had a number of good and bad days like most guys, but when it comes to his consistency and stuff, I feel like this last month has been the best.”

Besides Garoppolo, the 49ers had other injury-related code names. Linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair has a sprained knee that will keep him out for at least the next two games, according to Shanahan, while defensive tackle DJ Jones will be limited by an ankle injury.

Ultimately, punter Mitch Wishnowsky was placed on the reserve / COVID-19 list, making him the first Niner to earn that designation since August.

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