Garoppolo ‘confident’ he can play through thumb injury

San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan told reporters Wednesday that starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo does not require surgery to repair the Grade 3 sprain of the ulnar collateral ligament in his right thumb that also “pulled off a fleck of the bone” he suffered in last Thursday’s loss to the Tennessee Titans that dropped the Niners to 8-7.

The 49ers still control their playoff destiny despite that defeat, and Garoppolo said Wednesday he “definitely” feels he has a chance to start for this coming Sunday’s game against the 4-11 Houston Texans. 

“I played the entire game with it basically, so it’s really just about being able to grip the ball and do the things I normally do, and we’re gonna go test those out today, see how it feels and go from there,” Garoppolo said of his latest setback, per Nick Wagoner of ESPN. “But I feel confident in it.”

Rookie Trey Lance started versus the Arizona Cardinals on Oct. 10 when Garoppolo was banged up and completed 15-of-29 passes for 192 yards with no touchdowns and an interception in a 17-10 loss. He also added 89 rushing yards on 16 carries. 

Lance handled first-team practice reps earlier this week and will do so whenever Garoppolo isn’t available ahead of Sunday’s contest. 

“It’s a torn ligament so it is what it is,” Garoppolo added about the injury. “The pain, it’s not going anywhere so I know what that feels like, but it’s just about being confident and going out there and being able to do what I normally do with the football. We’ll see where it gets us, but I feel good right now with it.”

The 49ers end the regular season at the Los Angeles Rams on Jan. 9. 

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