After a lackluster 11 snaps in Denver, Jimmy Garoppolo will have more of a chance to get his legs underneath him in Kansas City when coach Kyle Shanahan’s plan is for him to play the entire first half.
“I would like them to get a whole half in,” Shanahan said. “But sometimes halves can be 20 plays and sometimes they could be 45, so it’s more about the play count. I’d like them to get a normal half in.
“If they do, depending on how you start with the ball how many series you get, if you feel good about it we’d like to not put them back out in the third quarter. But if you don’t feel good and you don’t feel like they got the reps, it’s always an option.”
Shanahan, like Garoppolo, would have liked the first-team offense to stay in the game longer in Denver but the risk of injury outweighed the reward of the offense getting into a rhythm.
"It’s just really hard in the preseason when you have three bad drives like that and they want to stay in longer,” Shanahan said. “And every part of my body wants to keep them in longer but you got to make the smart decision and get them out.
“You like to get guys going to get a quarterback in rhythm, an entire offense in rhythm and we didn’t do that. I truly believe if we stayed in there it would have been a matter of time.”
When asked specifically about those 11 snaps facing the Broncos, Shanahan said that there was really only one that concerned him; the interception.
“There was one play to go over,” Shanahan said. “The miscommunication on the protections that starts usually with the quarterback changing the protection. You got to make sure everyone gets it, and then when we don’t have guys blocked because of miscommunication you don’t throw it to their team.
“Worst case scenario you just go down and take us back. Besides that, the other ones, you can talk about tipped throws and things like that.”
Part of Garoppolo’s return will be getting over the mental hurdle of protecting his knee. While Garoppolo won’t admit it’s an issue, Shanahan says it’s only natural, especially this week when the team goes back to the venue where the injury occurred.
“Any time you come back from an injury there’s a bunch of mental hurdles you have to get over every when you are healthy and feel good,” Shanahan said. “I’m sure there’s some stuff with it just being eerie going back to that same place but I haven’t talked to him about that specifically.”
Shanahan believes that Garoppolo simply needs more time in a live game situation to rebuild his confidence.
“That’s all Jimmy needs is just to play football whether he’s coming back from an injury or not,” Shanahan said. “We thought we were going to get that last year and unfortunately we didn’t. That was out of everyone’s control.”
While Shanahan would like Garoppolo to get a good amount of playing time in during the preseason, he won’t risk it. Tackles Joe Staley and Mike McGlinchey, are not in need of extra snaps and he will not put Garoppolo on the field with a second-string offensive line facing defensive starters.
“I want Jimmy to play as much as possible in the preseason and into the regular season but that’s a fine line too.”