Jimmy Garoppolo Injury: Don't Expect a Dramatic Playoff Return

Sports Injury Central
Dec 4, 2022; Santa Clara, California, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10)
Dec 4, 2022; Santa Clara, California, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) / Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

After he was initially expected to undergo season-ending foot surgery, the 49ers now reportedly believe that starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo avoided a worst-case Lisfranc injury and could be healthy for the playoffs. 

According to multiple reports, Garoppolo's likely lateral left foot fracture doesn't involve ligament damage and won't require any surgery.

While the 7-8 week timeline lines up for a dramatic return, the 32-year-old faces an uphill battle to be healthy and ready to play again this season, according to the Pro Football Docs.

Foot injuries often take longer than expected to heal because of the lack of blood flow and, if Garoppolo is recovered in two months, he will still need a period of preparation and re-integration.

At that point in the season – either the NFC championship or Super Bowl – rookie Brock Purdy would have half the season under his belt and head coach Kyle Shanahan would have to make the decision between pedigree and experience or youth and momentum. 

Garoppolo has suffered a torn ACL, shoulder sprain, ankle sprain, thumb sprain, and now a foot fracture that will have cost him 32 of 82 games (39%) since 2018. 

He has shown the resilience to play through ailments but often experiences a swift dropoff in production.

This was the case in the 2021 playoffs: In the two-and-a-half games after his shoulder injury against the Cowboys, Garoppolo threw for 402 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions on 53.3% completion and 6.7 yards per attempt. 

The 49ers, now 8-4, have won five straight and are the favorites to win the NFC West at -400 and have the fifth-best odds to win the Super Bowl at +1000, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

Sports Injury Central is the home of Pro Football Doc – the FanDuel Official Injury Expert – and a leading panel of former team physicians from the NFL, CFB, NBA, and MLB. The team analyzes injuries to give fans an edge with their wagering and fantasy sports activities. For our free newsletter and injury-based bets throughout the NFL and NBA seasons, sign up for free here.