Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo sustained an ankle injury early in the 49ers' Week 2 game against the New York Jets, the likes of which he had never before experienced in his football career.
After two weeks out of action, Garoppolo said on Friday he is feeling good. He will be back in the 49ers' starting lineup Sunday against the Miami Dolphins at Levi's Stadium, coach Kyle Shanahan announced.
Garoppolo played most of the first half of the 49ers game on Sept. 20 with a high right ankle sprain. He played a big role in the 49ers' 31-13 victory. Garoppolo completed 14 of 16 pass attempts for 131 yards and two touchdowns.
He said it was not easy for him to turn over the remainder of the game to then-backup Nick Mullens.
"It was tough," Garoppolo said after completing the week of practices to prepare for facing the Dolphins. "You're out there playing, and you do have the adrenaline going, so you don't fully feel what it really is.
"But we went in at halftime and did some tests on it, and the docs talked me into it a little bit. It was a tough decision, man, because you want to be out there with the guys. I think we made the right decision over the long run, taking two weeks off and being smart with it."
Garoppolo did not practice the past two weeks. He returned to limited practices Wednesday and Thursday on the 49ers' Santa Clara practice field. He went through a full practice on Friday
"The ankle is feeling really good right now," Garoppolo said. "Got the last couple weeks off to get it right. The training staff, I got to tip my hat to those guys. They did a great job with me, just preparing me and everything. As far as getting out there, we've had the whole week to work on it, so it's feeling pretty good right now."
Garoppolo said he did not fully realize the physical complications of trying to return to play football after sustaining a high ankle sprain. That injury occurs when the ligaments located above the ankle joint are twisted, causing the tibia and fibula to spread apart.
It is not uncommon for football players to miss four to six weeks with the injury. Shanahan said in the days after Garoppolo's injury that his case was more on the less-severe side.
Garoppolo said he approached the past two weeks as if he might be able to get back on the field.
Instead, Mullens started those games. Mullens was benched in the 49ers' Week 4 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. Now, C.J. Beathard is the 49ers' No. 2 quarterback with Garoppolo resuming his starting role.
"I've had normal ankle sprains; never had a high-ankle sprain," Garoppolo said. "So this was a first, and I kind of thought it would be like a normal ankle sprain and I could come back. Just trying to get myself mentally prepared each week, talking to myself and telling myself that I could play this week and I'll be all right.
"It took a little time, but I'm glad to be back out there with the guys. It feels great."