What next for the 49ers after Season Ending Injury to Jimmy Garoppolo? By Alex Merson

What next for the 49ers after Season Ending Injury to Jimmy Garoppolo? By Alex Merson
Reading Time: 6 minutes.

What do the 49ers do after the season-ending injury to Jimmy Garoppolo? Alex Merson takes a look at the options.

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo’s 2022 thus far has been nothing short of a whirlwind. It started with him leading his team to an NFC Championship game after a 10-7 season. Beating both the Cowboys and the Packers in the playoff run, before losing to the eventual Super Bowl champions, the Los Angeles Rams. 

However, shortly after in the preseason, it was announced second-year quarterback and 2020 3rd pick in the draft Trey Lance was to become the starter in San Francisco.  

That plan soon went out of the window. As in just week 2, Lance went down with a season-ending injury. Jimmy Garoppolo stepped back up and lead the team to a 7-4 record, and on top of the NFC West.

Image Credit: NBC Sports

But, things got even worse for the 49ers. As in Sunday night’s week 13 game against the Miami Dolphins, Jimmy Garoppolo suffered a broken foot early on in the game. Which will now see him out for the rest of the season.

The 49ers went onto defeat the Dolphins 33-17. And it was last years ‘Mr Irrelevant’ (the final pick in the draft), Brock Purdy who stepped up and threw for 210 yards and 2 touchdowns in the victory.

Next up for the 49ers are the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Tom Brady, who have struggled massively this season.

The big question now for the 49ers, is what to do now? and who will lead this team coming into the end of season stretch? We will look below at some options head coach Kyle Shanahan and his coaches will be looking at over the coming week.


#1 – Brock Purdy

Image Credit: USA Today

The first option for the 49ers is the man who led them to the week 13 win on Sunday night. The Mr Irrelevant of the 2021 NFL draft, Brock Purdy. When coming into the game against the Dolphins, there was not many people who would have believed that Purdy could go on and win the game. However, right from the first drive, it was clear he had the ability. Finding some nice check downs to set them up in the redzone. Before finding star fullback Kyle Juszczyk in the endzone for a 3-yard touchdown.

It was a dream start for him and he followed it up at the end of the half. Finding Christian McCaffery for another short touchdown to give them the lead. He then went on to set up 3 field goals and win the game comfortably for the team.

Purdy showed moments of excellence. Finding his receivers all over the field and with the star talent of the likes of Deebo Samuel, Christian McCaffery, Brandon Aiyuk and more, it only helped in the victory. 

However, being the last pick in the entire draft, the expectation for him to continue his form is rather low. His time in college was great. A 4-year starter for the big 12 side Iowa State, where he threw for over 12,000 yards 81 touchdowns and 33 interceptions. Leading them to 5-4 record in a tough division. 

Immediately after the game against the Dolphins, he was announced as the starter for the rest of the season following the injury to Jimmy Garoppolo. However, that could change over the coming weeks,

#2 – Cam Newton

Image Credit: The San Deigo Union Tribune

Yet another former number-one pick is available for pick up and Cam Newton brings both talent and craziness to any team he plays for. After a superstar MVP season in 2015, Newton reached the Super Bowl. However, he lost out to Peyton Manning and the Broncos’ insane defence. Since then, Newton has more than struggled to reach the heights that he was once at. He joined the Patriots in 2020 but failed to impress Bill Belichick and was eventually cut just a year later.

He then made a move back to the Carolina Panthers mid-way through last season. Where he made his famous “I’M BACKKKKK” celebration. However, the spell back to his former team was short. As he wasn’t resigned at the end of the year and he is now a free agent.

Newton was taken number one overall all the way back in 2011, 11 seasons ago. So there could be some vital experience to lead the team. With the options and talent the 49ers have on offence, it could be a great fit for Newton, and a stellar defence like the 49ers will only help when trying to win games. 

#3 – Josh Johnson

Image Credit: SportTechie

This veteran has been to 14 different teams in the last 13 years. However, hasn’t found a real chance to play and be a starter. Johnson was signed by the 49ers straight after week 13 from the Denver Broncos practice squad. He isn’t expected to play, but backup Purdy in week 14. But nobody knows what could happen in a week’s time, and it might be Johnson who leads the 49ers into the playoff stretch.

Johnson was drafted in 2008 in the 5th round, however, has not found a true home. He spent time in the XFL in 2020 before they went bust and impressed as the passing rating leader. His NFL career hasn’t been the same. He has thrown just 13 touchdowns and 16 interceptions. His last game in the NFL was for the Baltimore Ravens, where he was the 3rd string QB for them, and was needed to play in 2021. He had a solid game, throwing for 210 yards and 2 touchdowns. But it was not enough as they lost the game by 20 points.

Johnson could be a great backup for Purdy if they go down that route. He has the experience as a backup to help the team, and that is most likely why he has been signed and activated to the main roster immediately.

#4 – Other Options

Ryan Fitzpatrick

Image Credit: Miami Dolphins

There are more options out there for the 49ers. There are still some veteran QBs who may be tempted to come out of retirement. One main player that they may look at would be Ryan Fitzpatrick. He is 40, however, he retired at the start of the season, so it hasn’t been too long away from the game and he could jump straight back in.

Baker Mayfield

One option was the former number 1 pick in the 2018 draft Baker Mayfield. Who was released by the Carolina Panthers on Monday morning, after a poor season since being traded from the Cleveland Browns. Mayfield was thought to have tons of potential coming into the league and was rewarded with being the first overall pick in the draft coming out of Oklahoma. His career in the NFL began well. Seemingly turning around the Cleveland Browns franchise and led them to their first playoff berth in 19 years during his 3rd season. However, in the 2022 offseason, the Browns signed free agent superstar Deshaun Watson and the writing was on the wall for Mayfield.

However, the 49ers missed the chance on Mayfield. He was picked up quickly by the Los Angeles Rams, after QB Matthew Stafford picked up an injury that could last the season. This may show some intent of the 49ers, who look like they are trusting Brock Purdy to be the replacement for Jimmy Garoppolo.

Forget the year and reset

Finally, and the most unlikely scenario for the 49ers, is that they look more onto next season and not worry how this season ends up. They know that they have. In their minds, a future star in Trey Lance is coming back next season, so they won’t want to be stuck in a situation where he can’t come back and be the main man again. There is no question whatsoever that the 49ers have some incredible talent on both sides of the ball, and Trey Lance in that offence could be an unstoppable force.

This article was written by our new writer Alex Merson. Thanks to Alex for contributing this article and you can catch more of his work here in the future.

What do you think Is next for Jimmy Garoppolo and the 49ers? Let us know! We would love to hear your thoughts. Head over to Twitter @ninetynineyards.

Feature Image Credit: San Francisco Chronicle

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