Jimmy Garoppolo in danger of missing playoff game vs. Packers?

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

49. Packers -6. 8:15 p.m. ET. Fox. Saturday, Jan. 22. 1-0. 42. 0-0

It’s mostly speculation at this point, but 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo could be too banged up to start in the NFL playoffs against the Packers.

There are a few potentially concerning nuggets about quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and the San Francisco 49ers’ upcoming NFL playoffs matchup in the divisional round against the Green Bay Packers on Saturday.

Obviously, the Niners have some minor concerns about Garoppolo’s thumb injury, a sprain suffered back in Week 16 against the Tennessee Titans that forced him out of Week 17’s win over the Houston Texans. And while Garoppolo’s throwing hand will remain a concern from this point onward, a shoulder sprain revealed in the wake of San Francisco’s Wild Card win over the Dallas Cowboys now highlights those worries a bit more.

Head coach Kyle Shanahan revealed to the media on Monday that Garoppolo had suffered the sprain in his shoulder during Sunday’s win over Dallas, and the back-and-forth went as follows:

"When did Jimmy Garoppolo get hurt? And can you repeat that? Did you say he will not be able to practice this week?“No. He should be fine for practice. He did it in the second quarter. I know he had to play through some pain, but he ended up checking out alright. Just a slight shoulder sprain and he should be good for Wednesday’s practice.”Is it his throwing shoulder?“Yes.”"

At least early on, signs were pointing to Garoppolo being fully ready to take on quarterback Aaron Rodgers and the Packers at Lambeau Field for the divisional round.

Except, at least according to one report, Jimmy G might not actually be good to go.

Jimmy Garoppolo at risk of missing 49ers vs. Packers?

Shanahan’s comments, at least those from Monday, suggested Garoppolo’s shoulder sprain wasn’t a big deal, and him being able to practice in full would reinforce that.

However, Fox Sports’ Jason McIntyre reported the 49ers had some serious doubts as to whether or not Jimmy G would be able to play:

It’s anyone’s guess whether or not this is one giant Niners smokescreen, not unlike the vague chatter Shanahan let go of in advance of San Francisco’s regular-season finale when Garoppolo returned from a one-game absence.

Nevertheless, perhaps in reaction to the Garoppolo news, the oddsmakers over at WynnBET suddenly shifted the spread for the game, now making the Packers six-point favorites.

The spread originally opened at 4.5 in favor of Green Bay.

Jimmy Garoppolo to give way to Trey Lance early?

Garoppolo is still likely gone in 2022, opening up the door for the 49ers’ high-profile rookie, quarterback Trey Lance, to take over starting duties next season.

Yet the win over Dallas extended Garoppolo’s tenure with the Niners for at least one more game, at least in theory.

Related Story: 4 best fits for Jimmy Garoppolo in 2022 (if he moves on from 49ers)

Lance, who showed some notable improvement during his start in Garoppolo’s stead over the Houston Texans in Week 17, faced off against the Packers way back in Week 3, albeit only on some modest packages where he took three offensive snaps and rushed for a 1-yard touchdown.

Green Bay, however, does have a shaky run defense, one which allowed an average of 4.7 yards per carry, tied for third worst in the NFL.

It’s possible San Francisco is creating some kind of smokescreen here, perhaps to force Packers head coach Matt LaFleur to game plan for two quarterbacks completely instead of just Garoppolo.

Needless to say, this week’s remaining practice reports will be of serious interest to Jimmy G’s game-time status.

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