Last Sunday, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo tore his ACL against the Kansas City Chiefs on a scramble towards the sideline in the final minutes of the 49ers 38-27 loss, cutting his 2018 season short.
Jimmy, brought in last year mid-season by general manager John Lynch after a trade with the New England Patriots, led the 49ers to 5 straight wins and helped them finish with a 6-10 record, after their dismal 1-10 start to the year. His 5 straight wins improved his record as a starting quarterback to 7-0 showing enough promise to the San Francisco front office that he was the real deal. During the offseason, Garoppolo signed a record-breaking 5-year 137.5 million dollar deal, the second-highest salary in the NFL for a quarterback behind Aaron Rodgers.
Going into the 2018 season, expectations were high for 49ers fans everywhere including myself. The organization had brought in key players from free agency to go along with Garoppolo including RB Jerrick McKinnon from the Minnesota Vikings, and Richard Sherman from the 49ers division-rival Seattle Seahawks.
After several gruesome seasons behind head coach’s Jim Tomsula and Chip Kelly, the 49ers organization and its fans were hoping the presence of Jimmy Garoppolo in San Francisco could lead them back into the playoffs for the first time since 2013 in the Jim Harbaugh era.
Garoppolo’s injury has been a gut-wrenching blow to this 49ers team, as they will now have to rely on backup quarterback C.J Beathard out of Iowa to lead the team the rest of the season. CJ was drafted in the 2017 NFL Draft 40th overall in the 3rd round. He played 6 games for the 49ers last year and helped them win their first game of the season against the New York Giants in Week 10. 49ers Head Coach Kyle Shanahan stated in his post-game conference on Sunday, “ I have a lot of confidence in CJ, he led us to our first win last year, and he’s a very tough kid and gets respect from everyone in this locker room.” I am a big time 49ers fan myself and I feel like that Garoppolo’s injury sucks and it definitely is going to be a setback and might prevent us from going where we want to go this year, but I also remember what happened in Minnesota last year, and even in Philadelphia during the playoffs and Super Bowl. Case Keenum and Nick Foles, both backup quarterbacks to Carson Wentz and Sam Bradford, led their teams to success during the regular season and during the playoffs. Keenum led the Vikings to the NFC Championship game and Nick Foles won the Super Bowl for the Eagles. Anything can happen and I predict that Beathard can do the same thing for the 49ers this year. He has a good offensive line and better weapons around him this year than last season.
Kyle Shanahan also stated during his postgame conference that he is sticking with CJ this week at quarterback but will bring in a free agent quarterback as an extra leadership presence in the locker room. That being said, the 49ers have worked out Tom Savage, Kellen Clemens, and T.J Yates. It’ll be interesting to see where San Francisco goes from here. It’ll be more of a challenging season without Garoppolo. They are currently sitting at 1-2 with a tough matchups coming up against the Chargers, Cardinals, and Packers.