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Jimmy G confident he can play with 'pain,' torn thumb ligament

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Before throwing a football for the first time in nearly a week, 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo said he was confident he would be able to play on Sunday.

Garoppolo sustained a Grade 3 sprain — a complete tear — of the ulnar collateral ligament in his right thumb in the 49ers’ 20-17 loss to the Tennessee Titans last week.

After spending several days to get the swelling to go down, Garoppolo was still held out of 49ers practice Wednesday afternoon.

“The pain is not going anywhere,” Garoppolo said on a video call with Bay Area reporters. “It’s about being confident and going out and being able to do what I normally do with the football. We’ll see where it gets us, but I feel good right now with it.”

Garoppolo sustained the injury late in the first half of the Thursday night game against the Titans. He did not miss a snap.

He completed 13 of 16 passes for 136 yards with no touchdowns and one interception when he was healthy. After the injury, he completed 13 of 19 attempts for 186 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Garoppolo said it was "pretty difficult" to play with the injury and not being able to grip the football like he normally does.

"I felt as the game went on, I slowly started to adjust to it and my throwing style actually changed a little bit to be able to compensate for it," Garoppolo said.

Garoppolo made no mention of the thumb discomfort after the game when speaking to reporters. The 49ers squandered a 10-point halftime lead and fell to 8-7 on the season with the loss to the Titans.


“As the quarterback, it’s my team and I was supposed to be out there,” Garoppolo said. “And that’s kind of the mindset I’ve always had.”

The 49ers could be in a dilemma on Sunday in a crucial game against the Houston Texans at Levi’s Stadium.

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If Garoppolo is compromised, the team will have to determine whether the 49ers have a better chance of winning with Garoppolo or with healthy rookie Trey Lance.

“I always put the team first,” Garoppolo said. “As much as you want to look out for yourself and do what’s right for you, the team comes first. I’ve lived my whole life like that. I don’t think that’ll change.

“I think it’s a matter of being not the same page with me, the coaches, the trainers. We’ll see how it looks today. If it looks good, it looks good. If it looks bad, it looks bad. It’s one of those things. You got to test it out and go through it. But until we do that, it’ll be hard to say. But we’ll all be on the same page, and we’ll do the right thing for the team.”

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