Jimmy Garoppolo starts for 49ers vs. Rams, healthy enough to play

Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

Jimmy Garoppolo does wind up getting the start for the 49ers in Week 18 against the Rams despite injury concerns he wouldn’t.

San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan could afford to be elusive when it came to naming his starting quarterback for his team’s regular-season finale against the Los Angeles Rams in Week 18.

After rookie quarterback Trey Lance impressed in the Week 17 win over the Houston Texans, there was thinking Shanahan might stick with the No. 3 overall pick from last year’s NFL Draft in Los Angeles instead of the veteran, Jimmy Garoppolo, who missed that game with a thumb sprain.

Pregame reports suggested Garoppolo would be the Niners’ starter in Week 18, and those were all but confirmed when he took the field to lead Shanahan’s offense against the Rams.

Jimmy Garoppolo tries to offset Rams explosive offense

After Los Angeles started off the scoring with a field goal following a 13-play, 62-yard drive, Garoppolo at least managed to pick up a key third-down conversion by hitting wide receiver Trent Sherfield for 13 yards.

But San Francisco’s opening possession stalled on a 3rd-and-long play that was intended on a wheel route for running back JaMycal Hasty running out of the backfield down the right sideline, a play that fell incomplete when the second-year pro couldn’t haul the well-placed pass in.

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The 49ers’ opening drive lasted 4:16, while the Rams had a lengthy first possession of 8:53.

It almost appears as if the Niners are watching their NFC West division rivals try repeating what San Francisco did back when these two teams faced off in Week 10, dominating the time of possession in a one-sided 31-10 win.

Garoppolo and the 49ers, of course, need to be on the right side of that trend if they want to get into the playoffs.

Los Angeles still leads 3-0 in the middle of the first half.

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