The 2020 season has been nothing short of frustrating for the San Francisco 49ers. The bulk of that sentiment falls directly toward their struggles with injuries that have now sidelined Jimmy Garoppolo for possibly the rest of the season. With that in mind, could have Garoppolo played his last snap with the 49ers?
49ers struggling to move through the 2020 season
The San Francisco 49ers entered the 2020 season with the hopes of getting back to the Super Bowl.
However, the 49ers’ pathway has been marred by injuries throughout the first half of the year. Their roster has suffered significant losses on both sides of the ball that has pushed them into a concerning spot despite splitting their first eight games.
San Francisco has lost significant contributors for lengthy stretches throughout the season, making that hill even more challenging to climb. The 49ers are now dealing with another massive loss that potentially puts their offense into a more troublesome bind.
Jimmy Garoppolo expected to miss several weeks, potentially longer
The 49ers have been ravaged by injuries this season, which has considerably impacted much of their core talent.
Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo has been at the forefront of those ailments as he has dealt with a nagging ankle problem. According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, Garoppolo will miss at least six weeks due to a high ankle sprain that could require season-ending surgery.
Garoppolo has played through the injury that has bothered him since suffering it in Week 2 against the New York Jets. He managed to stay on the field until aggravating it in the Week 8 loss against the Seattle Seahawks.
The injury significantly impacted the 28-year-old’s play as he had 1,096 passing yards with seven touchdowns to five interceptions while holding a 92.4 passer rating in six games. In the last two contests, he threw three interceptions with no touchdown passes.His absence with thrust backup Nick Mullens into the starting role moving forward this season.
Mullens played exceptionally well in relief against the Seahawks as he completed 18-of-25 passes for 238 yards with two touchdowns and held a 128.4 passer rating. The 49ers are also dealing with another significant loss with star tight end George Kittle out for the next eight weeks due to a broken foot. Beyond that, the 49ers may have a huge decision to make ahead with Garoppolo in the offseason.
49ers could decide to move on next offseason
Following the San Francisco 49ers’ disappointing loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl 54, questions around Jimmy Garoppolo’s long-term future sprouted.
Beyond Garoppolo’s sporadic production, his contract situation has lent firmly to conversations around that subject matter. The 28-year-old is in the third year of his five-year, $137.5 million deal, includes notable shifts in the dead cap hits in the final two seasons.
Following the 2020 campaign, the 28-year-old would be a $2.8 million dead cap hit in 2021 and $1.4 million in 2022. All that alone makes any decision to part ways with Garoppolo quite less financially burdensome for the 49ers.
The organization hasn’t had any indication they are considering that route. Still, given the quarterback’s performance not meeting the expectations of a $26-plus million annual salary, it could lead to that decision. The chatter has quieted down around Aaron Rodgers’ future with the Packers.
If the team were to move off the two-time league MVP, the 49ers could more than swallow his remaining deal or sign him in free agency. Much will unfold in the coming months, but it’s hard to ignore the possibility that Garoppolo has played his last game in San Francisco.