Jimmy Garoppolo and Kyle Shanahan aren't ruling out that the veteran 49ers quarterback could play Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals.
Garoppolo spoke to media Wednesday and shared that he's still in pain but has a much more positive outlook on his return than he did Sunday night after the 49ers' 28-21 loss to the Seattle Seahawks.
“I think the initial reaction, you’re obviously bummed by it, but just pulled the calf a little bit,” Garoppolo said. “It’s nothing too serious. I tweaked the muscle, whatever word you want to use for it. I strained it a little bit. Just taking it day by day at this point.”
Garoppolo was attempting to avoid pressure coming toward him in the pocket when former teammate Kerry Hyder Jr.’s knee hit the back of his calf. The awkward contact caused a contusion or strain that limited the power in Garoppolo's right leg.
Garoppolo did not practice Wednesday and was held out of the walk-through prior to practice. The quarterback is preparing mentally, noting that the 49ers’ walk-throughs usually end up as “jog-throughs” that would not help the recovery of his calf.
Rookie quarterback Trey Lance is preparing for Sunday as well, taking all the first-team reps until Garoppolo can return to the field. The decision on who will start in Arizona could come as late as game time, and will boil down to whether or not Garoppolo can push off his back leg.
For now, even without practicing, Garoppolo will go about his usual game-preparation routine.
“It doesn’t really change anything,” Garoppolo said. “Mentally, I feel pretty good, just with the game plan and the install we just put in. Physically, hopefully, get out there tomorrow. It’s not terrible right now.”
Shanahan discussed the challenge of game-planning for Lance and Garoppolo’s different skill sets, but the 49ers coach also noted the offense is required to do much of the same thing, no matter who's under center. Shanahan still is hopeful Garoppolo will be available for Sunday.
“It’s better today, which is good news,” Shanahan said. “Not enough to let him go but also not enough to rule him out. Doctors say give him another day, he’s got a chance, so I’m still holding out for that.”
If he does play Sunday, Garoppolo knows it will be a physical challenge.
“I’d be battling through it, probably,” Garoppolo said. “We will take it day by day. It hurts, but it is what it is at this point. I’m not going to put anything in stone yet.”