DENVER — Jimmy Garoppolo’s first snaps in his return from an ACL injury were very unimpressive, but at least he got them out of the way before the regular season.
It was a chance to brush away the cobwebs and get rid of some of the butterflies from playing under the bright lights again. Those will be the positive takeaways.
“Yeah, obviously a lot of excitement,” Garoppolo said. “Anxious to get out there and everything but nothing too crazy. It’s something I haven’t done in a year obviously, so got to knock the rust off and everything and thankfully we have a short week this week so we can bounce back quickly but it’s the first step of getting back into it.”
Coach Kyle Shanahan believes the experience was good for his quarterback, even if it wasn’t productive in yardage or on the scoreboard.
“Yeah, of course,” Shanahan said. “He’s had a year off football, and before that he only played about eight games total. The more he can play, the better. I wish we could have kept him out there longer today but you risk everyone else too, so I had to get those guys out of there.”
Garoppolo was only able to complete one of his six attempts for no yards and one interception. His night ended with a 0.0 rating. The offense wasn’t able to get into a rhythm in the three short drives with Garoppolo under center.
“Obviously a little frustrated but it’s the NFL,” Garoppolo said. “Unfortunately, we don’t get to play the whole game right now so I only get so many plays. You wish you could be out there for more so we could bounce back. But it is what it is. It's preseason right now, so we just have to take it in stride.”
Shanahan spoke about what he saw from Garoppolo and the offense. He wanted to keep them on the field longer to string a bunch of plays together but he also could not risk injury to his starters in an exhibition game.
“Anytime you can’t get an offensive rhythm, everyone looks that way,” Shanahan said. “We didn’t get anyone in rhythm. I wish we could have gotten him in a rhythm. It was very hard to pull him off on the third series because we wanted to go one and two series. One and two good series.”
Mentally Garoppolo says he’s moving past thinking about his surgically repaired knee. The only thing that reminds Shanahan is when he sees the brace on Garoppolo’s knee.
“I forget his knee’s hurt,” Shanahan said. “He’s been healthy since OTAs, so we aren’t worried about the knee right now. We just want to get him out there and get some reps and play some football.
“It was good for him because it’s a big hurdle to get out there for the first time, but we haven’t seen any issues with the knee. We aren’t too concerned about his injury. It’s about him playing and getting reps with our team.”
The team has a short week ahead of them with another road game on Saturday facing the Chiefs. Garoppolo is looking forward to a chance to play a little longer, and get the offense in sync.
“Yeah, just kind of getting in the groove offensively,” Garoppolo said. “As the offense, once we got that first down, you kind of start rolling. I think we only got one of those tonight. Once you get in a groove like that as an offensive, it’s a good feeling. Hopefully, we'll play a little more of the same thing.”