Kyle Shanahan was presented with shocking news in the middle of the second quarter Sunday afternoon at Levi's Stadium.
Jimmy Garoppolo, the veteran quarterback who has been with Shanahan through nearly his entire tenure as the 49ers' head coach, suffered a season-ending foot injury on a sack early in the 33-17 victory over the Miami Dolphins.
Per NBC Sports' Peter King, it was 49ers athletic trainer Dustin Little who broke the news to Shanahan that Garoppolo would miss the remainder of the 2022 NFL season.
Shanahan's response? He didn't say a single word.
George Kittle, a longtime buddy of Garoppolo and one of the quarterback's favorite options in the passing game, heard the news at halftime.
“Football is weird,” Kittle told King after the game. “It’s a brutal, unforgiving sport. Saw Jimmy at halftime and he told me. That’s awful for your quarterback and your three-time captain. But you know, it’s kind of, 'Well, that sucks, but we got a game to play.'
"It’s like, 'We love you, and we’ll always love you, but we've got to go. See you after the game.' It’s kind of the beautifulness and craziness of the sport, what happened today.”
The 49ers trailed the Dolphins 7-3 with 8:07 remaining in the first quarter when Purdy entered the game. Riding the rookie's confidence along with another stellar performance from DeMeco Ryans' defense, San Francisco outscored Miami 23-7 the rest of the way for its fifth straight win.
Football is a cruel sport. Months of hard work can be erased with one fluke injury. There are few better examples of that harsh reality than Garoppolo.
Since joining the 49ers in 2017, Garoppolo endured a season-ending ACL tear in 2018 and a season-ending ankle injury in '20. Now, a broken left foot will prevent him from making another deep postseason run and boosting his free-agent resume for the upcoming offseason.