Jimmy Garoppolo confident he will be able to play despite finger injury

Garoppolo will evaluate if he can shoot; Lance is ready to take offense again and the Niners are looking for a playoff spot.

SANTA CLARA, California – It’s not yet clear whether San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo will play despite his right thumb injury Sunday against the Houston Texans.

But if he has his way, Garoppolo will be in his usual starting place in a game that the Niners, 8-7, must win as they seek a spot in the NFC playoffs. He said Wednesday that he “definitely” has a chance to play the Texans.

“I played the whole game with him (pain) basically, so actually it’s about being able to grab the ball and do the things that I normally do and we’re going to try them out, see how it feels, and go from there. But I feel confident about it. “

The 49ers can clinch a postseason berth with a win against the Texans and a New Orleans Saints loss to the Carolina Panthers.

Before practice on Wednesday, Garoppolo was expected to pitch with supervision from the coaching staff before determining whether he would sit out of session or participate on a limited basis.

Garoppolo did not participate in the team’s light practice Monday as he waited for the swelling in his thumb to subside. Wednesday is the first time he has pitched since the Niners’ 20-17 loss to the Tennessee Titans last week.

“We’ll see how it looks today. If it looks good, it looks good. If it looks bad, it looks bad. It’s just one of those things that you have to try and review. Until we do that, it will be hard to say. But everyone. we will be on the same page and we will do the right thing for the team, “he stressed.

While there was some confusion about the severity of Garoppolo’s injury, the coach Kyle shanahan offered more clarity. According to Shanahan, Garoppolo has a grade 3 sprain of the ulnar collateral ligament in his right thumb, adding that reports of a fracture are due to a sprain afflicting the bone.

But Shanahan assured that Garoppolo does not need surgery and insisted that it is the sprain that has in doubt Garoppolo’s condition for Sunday.

“There’s always a bone that has something in it, you can call it a fracture, you can call it a fissure, you can call it something, but that’s not really what would put it out,” Shanahan explained. “It’s the third degree sprain that he has. But since he doesn’t move and stuff, he doesn’t need surgery and he has the opportunity to play this week.”

Rookie Trey Lance took reps with the starting offense on Monday and he’s expected to work at least partially with that group again Wednesday, depending on how much Garoppolo is capable of.

If Lance gets the go-ahead, it would be just his second NFL start after playing the Arizona Cardinals on Oct. 10. Since 2017, the Niners are 30-14 with their starters and 7-28 when there is more than one starting quarterback.

For its part, Garoppolo said that if he plays it will depend on how capable he is of catching and throwing the ball.. He suffered the injury late in the second quarter of the loss to the Titans and ended the game, although he threw an interception to open the third quarter.

With Garoppolo dealing with the thumb injury and reserve / COVID-19 roster players across the league, the Niners are also taking additional steps to protect all of their assets, including quarterbacks.

San Francisco signed quarterback Tyler Bray to the practice team Wednesday, and joins veteran Nate Sudfeld behind Garoppolo and Lance.

Shanahan said the organization also switched all meetings to virtual on Wednesday, two days after kicker Mitch Wishnowsky became the first player to enter the COVID list since August.

“We’ve been quite lucky so far with just one player infected,” Shanahan said. “But just looking at the world and observing everyone, knowing what it looks like is only a matter of time, so we try to be careful and keep everyone separate right now until we get out.”