SANTA CLARA – Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo on Tuesday joked he hit his intended target in the stands in the immediate aftermath of the 49ers’ Week 17 victory over the Seattle Seahawks.
Garoppolo brushed aside a question about the fine of $7,017 he received from the NFL on Monday for throwing the ball into the stands. Instead, Garoppolo focused on the competition to 19-year-old 49ers fan Matt Pinelli of San Jose.
“Pretty accurate on the throw, I thought,” Garoppolo quipped. “I was throwing to that specific guy and he made a great catch on it. But, yeah, I’m glad it was a San Fran fan.”
After Garoppolo ran out the clock on the 49ers’ 26-21 victory over the Seattle Seahawks to clinch the NFC West title and home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs. He heaved the ball into the stands in the celebration. Pinelli looked up from his phone in time to see the ball coming toward him, he said.
The victory gave the 49ers the No. 1 seed and a first-round bye in the playoffs. The 49ers play in the divisional round of the NFC playoffs on Saturday against the Minnesota Vikings at Levi's Stadium.
On Monday, the NFL confirmed Garoppolo was fined for the act of throwing the ball, which is considered a fan safety issue. Garoppolo plans to appeal the fine, the NFL Network reported.