NFL Rumors: Jimmy Garoppolo Might Need Offseason Thumb Surgery

Garoppolo is out for at least Week 17, but possibly beyond

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Jimmy Garoppolo has done a mostly fine job keeping the San Francisco 49ers in the playoff picture this season, but it’s come at a physical cost.

Garoppolo won’t play in Sunday’s Houston Texans-49ers game due to a thumb injury. The veteran quarterback sustained the injury in San Fran’s 20-17 Week 16 loss to the Tennessee Titans, and according to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport, it might require surgery to repair.

“Sources say that Garoppolo is expected to have surgery following the season to repair the torn ligament and chipped bone in the thumb on his throwing hand,” Rapoport wrote in a story published Sunday morning. “In rare times, these types of injuries can heal on their own, but sources say this is not the type that can. He is expected to make a full recovery.”

In the interim, it will be rookie Trey Lance, the No. 3 pick in the 2021 draft and the heir apparent to Garoppolo, starting for the 49ers against the Texans.

It has seemed for years now that Garoppolo would be traded, and though he’s signed through next season, the structure of his deal makes him easy to cut this offseason. This is a prime opportunity for Lance to prove that he’s ready now, and his play over however long Garoppolo is out could dictate how the 49ers move forward at the position heading into next season.

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