The 49ers' 2018 season went south when quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo sustained a torn ACL in Week 3. Just over four months have passed since that fateful day and, fully intent on a bounceback 2019 campaign, San Francisco is increasingly optimistic that Garoppolo will be ready for the start of it.
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported Tuesday that John Lynch and the 49ers expect Garoppolo to be on the field at the start of organized team activities (OTAs) in the spring.
"Obviously, a huge lift for his team, having their star quarterback out there for all the spring drills," Rapaport said. "Just allows [Garoppolo] to kind of ease into the offseason to make sure he's ready for the start of training camp."
After winning his first five games with San Francisco, the 49ers went 1-2 in Garoppolo's three starts this past season. As such, he's had a grand total of eight (regular season) games played and one offseason with the red and gold, so it's not as if he's had a ton of time to develop chemistry with his offensive weapons. The sooner he can get back on the field this offseason, the better for him and those weapons.
And speaking of the talents Garopppolo hopes to have at his disposal in 2019, he's not the only one recovering from a torn ACL. Running back Jerick McKinnon -- who was arguably San Francisco's biggest free agent signing -- tore his right ACL on the final practice of training camp, causing him to miss the entire season.
Garoppolo and McKinnon have been keeping each other company while they rehab, according to Rapoport. "They're competing against each other, as far as who is more ready."
Whether or not they trot out on the field when the 49ers convene for OTAs remains to be seen, but the very fact that it's even being mentioned as a possibility is a good sign for their respective recoveries.