The 49ers season was derailed by Jimmy Garoppolo’s injury in 2018. Fortunately, the team believes their franchise quarterback is now fully recovered.
When Jimmy Garoppolo tore his ACL last September it effectively ended the 49ers’ chances of earning a postseason berth. That’s why his ability to fully participate in the 2019 preseason is such good news for coach Kyle Shanahan and his staff.
According to the 27-year-old quarterback, he hasn’t experienced any setbacks during his recovery. As such, he’s optimistic that the San Francisco medical staff will allow him to do everything he wants when training camp begins. Expect the 49ers to err on the side of caution, but the news that Garoppolo feels comfortable doing everything asked of him on the field is terrific news for the entire organization.
Nick Mullens deserves a lot of credit for how he played in relief of Garoppolo last season, but no one with the 49ers wants to see him pressed into action again. The plan in San Francisco has always been to base the offense around Garoppolo’s strong arm. Combine his physical talent with Shanahan’s creative offensive mind and it’s easy to get excited about the 49ers’ chances of crashing the playoff party in 2019.
The organization didn’t just sit idly by and twiddle their thumbs while Garoppolo was on the road to recovery. They used this April’s draft to add significant talent at wide receiver. Second-round pick Deebo Samuel is in a position to contribute immediately in the slot. The former South Carolina star has the talent and skill set to produce as a rookie. The ability for Samuel to work with Garoppolo during the preseason to build chemistry is a huge plus for San Francisco.
The 49ers also addressed the receiver position in the third round. Jalen Hurd isn’t quite the nuanced route runner than Samuel is, but he’s got an intriguing combination of size and skill on the outside. Look for Shanahan and his staff to scheme ways to get him open next year. His catch radius should give Garoppolo a chance to make more big plays down the field. Hurd may need even more time than Samuel to build a rapport with his signal caller.
Of course, George Kittle is still the most dangerous pass catcher on the roster. He had a big season without Garoppolo at the helm, but he’ll be glad to see his starting quarterback back on the field. Look for Kittle to work hard to build off his breakout campaign in 2019.
The 49ers deserve credit for how they’ve built talent to go around Garoppolo this offseason, but his health is still a requirement for San Francisco to reach their full potential. The fact that he’s ready to go in July bodes well for this team when the regular season arrives.