Coach Kyle Shanahan said Tuesday he remains hopeful 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo will be able to return to the lineup to help toward a late-season playoff push.
Garoppolo is out of the orthopedic boot he wore after sustaining a high left ankle sprain. He will not require surgery, which leaves open the possibility of a return to action. The 49ers enter the bye week with a 4-6 record.
There is also the question of next season, and what the 49ers have planned at the quarterback position.
"I expect Jimmy to be our starter next year," Shanahan said. "I expect him to come and play with us this year."
After taking off this week, the 49ers are hopeful to see several key members of the team on both sides of the ball return for the Week 12 game at the Los Angeles Rams. The 49ers believe there's a good chance running backs Raheem Mostert and Tevin Coleman, wide receiver Deebo Samuel and cornerback Richard Sherman are healthy enough to play.
"We have six games left. We are not out of the playoffs, yet," Shanahan said. "I've been on a team that was 3-6 going into the bye week that ended up winning their division.
"I think we have guys on this team capable of finishing this the right way. We got to do one game at a time, and I hope Jimmy can come back and be a part of that."
The 49ers figure to face a lot of difficult offseason personnel decisions with a number of their top players scheduled for free agency. Moreover, the NFL's salary cap is expected to drop approximately $20 million per team.
The 49ers could create $24 million in savings if the the organization decides to move on from Garoppolo this offseason. But Shanahan said it is far too early to begin those conversations.
Garoppolo has appeared in just six of the team's 10 games this season. The 49ers are 3-3 in those games. In 30 regular-season starts since coming to the 49ers in 2017, the team is 22-8.
"To think we've made decisions on anybody going into the future isn't the case," Shanahan said. "Jimmy has won a lot of games for us this year. It's a lot harder to win games when he's not here. And I just hope we can get him back."