It appears wishful thinking won’t be enough to get San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo in the lineup for Sunday’s matchup against the 4-11 Houston Texans.
As noted by David Bonilla of 49ers WebZone, Garoppolo was unable to throw footballs in even a limited capacity for the third straight practice on Friday as he attempts to recover from what’s been called a Grade 3 sprain of the ulnar collateral ligament in his right thumb and a chipped bone. Following that update, the 49ers listed Garoppolo as doubtful for the first Sunday of 2022, putting rookie Trey Lance on track to get his second career regular-season start for an 8-7 Niners side that controls its playoff destiny ahead of the weekend:
The news is hardly surprising, as Lance took first-team reps throughout the midweek even though head coach Kyle Shanahan previously said Garoppolo did not immediately require surgery to repair his thumb.
Lance hasn’t started since a Week 5 loss to the Arizona Cardinals back on Oct. 10. Thus far, he’s completed 25-of-48 passes for 354 yards with three touchdowns, an interception and 137 rushing yards and a score on 30 carries this season.
Garoppolo’s status beyond Sunday is up in the air, meaning Lance theoretically could lead San Francisco into the postseason assuming the club earns a spot in the tournament.