49ers

Shanahan's plan for Garoppolo: Re-start from the beginning

Shanahan's plan for Garoppolo: Re-start from the beginning

SANTA CLARA – There was certainly nothing wrong with Jimmy Garoppolo’s nine-week stint with the 49ers to close out the regular season.

But coach Kyle Shanahan and Garoppolo are looking forward to a fresh start when the team reports back to team headquarters on April 16 for Phase I of the offseason program.

After all, Garoppolo still has a lot to learn about the 49ers’ offensive system – elements he had no chance to learn as he merely tried to keep his head above water and learn the plays included in each week’s game plan.

“I've never been here for an offseason, so everything will kind of be new for me, just like the season was,” Garoppolo said Friday during the press conference to announce a contract designed to keep him as a member of the 49ers through at least the 2022 season.

“But I think getting into Phase I, Phase II and really being able to talk through the offense to some of the finer things that I didn't get to get involved into during the season, I think it'll really help me take steps forward in learning this.”

The 49ers were 1-10 at the point Garoppolo was elevated into the starting lineup in place of rookie C.J. Beathard. Garoppolo threw for 1,542 yards in his five starts, leading the 49ers to a 5-0 record. His 8.76 yards per pass attempt ranked No. 1 in the NFL over that period of time.

Shanahan’s plan is to turn back the clock once Garoppolo reports back to work and teach Garoppolo the foundation of the offense – and all its intricacies – during the nine-week offseason program.

“It's nice to start from scratch and to go at a slower process,” Shanahan said. “He got a crash course, and he did a hell of a job picking it up. But he doesn't truly understand why and things like that. But he did a great job of getting through the week to where he had a chance to do it on Sunday, and now where the rush isn't quite the same, I think you start from the beginning, start on the first page, not the 50th page, and you get a better foundation.

“And when you have a better foundation of where you're coming from when you're learning, I think it gives you a chance to play at a higher level. You know the whys and things like that. Obviously, I think everyone knows he played very well in the games he's played for us. But I think when he goes out there, it'll give him a chance over a longer time to be more consistent and just really understand it better.”

Jimmy Garoppolo is back in the building, already at 49ers meetings

Jimmy Garoppolo is back in the building, already at 49ers meetings

SANTA CLARA - 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is already back at the facility attending meetings after his ACL surgery. 

In his final press conference before Sunday’s match up with the Los Angeles Rams, coach Kyle Shanahan confirmed that Garoppolo was back with his team after a successful surgery on his ACL. 

“He got back on Tuesday,” Shanahan said, “so Wednesday he’s been in all the team meetings and stuff and it’s been good to have him around. He’s still on his crutches and everything so he’s not going out to practice or anything.” 

Similar to practice, injured players are typically not allowed on the sidelines during games because of the risk of further injuries. As a result, Garoppolo could be at the stadium on game day, but not out on the field. 

Shanahan seemed genuinely pleased to see his franchise quarterback back in the building when he gave an update on Garoppolo’s appearance. 

“It was good to see his face,” Shanahan said. “Definitely has grown his beard out a little bit. You can tell he’s been sitting in a hospital or in a bed most of his time. Good to have him back in the building. He needs to make a few more strides just healing from his surgery and things like that, and we will get him around a lot more.”

Going through a season ending injury is traumatic but Shanahan reported that Garoppolo seems to be in good spirits. 

“Seems good,” Shanahan said. “Seeing him in the meetings, just talking to him a little bit, you know, I think he’s happy to be back with the team and to get back in this with us.” 

The only silver lining of both running back Jerick McKinnon and Garoppolo both going through ACL rehabilitation, is that they will be able to do it together. 

49ers-Rams injury reports: Ahkello Witherspoon in line to start after no snaps

49ers-Rams injury reports: Ahkello Witherspoon in line to start after no snaps

Cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon, who is on pace to be cleared through the NFL’s concussion protocol, is likely to start Sunday against the Los Angeles Rams, 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said Friday.

Witherspoon is expected to start in place of Jimmie Ward, who re-aggravated a hamstring condition late in the 49ers’ Monday night loss to the Green Bay Packers. Ward is listed as doubtful to play against the Rams. Witherspoon did not play any snaps of defense in Green Bay, as the 49ers opted to play Greg Mabin when Ward was injured in the fourth quarter.

The 49ers have an issue on the cornerback spots, too. Veteran cornerback Richard Sherman is listed as questionable after not practicing Friday due to a calf condition, the team announced. Nickel back K'Waun Williams is questionable with a shoulder injury.

Witherspoon was diagnosed with a concussion after colliding with Mabin on the Packers’ game-winning field goal on the final play of regulation. Witherspoon was limited with no contact in practices Thursday and Friday, so he has to pass the contact requirement before Sunday’s game, Shanahan said.

Wide receivers Pierre Garçon and Trent Taylor are listed as questionable after taking part in limited drills on Friday.

The 49ers will not have the services of receiver Dante Pettis for the third consecutive game. Pettis sustained a left knee sprain on Sept. 23 while returning a first-quarter punt against the Los Angeles Chargers.

For the Rams, wide receiver Cooper Kupp has been ruled with a knee injury. Kupp is the Rams’ second-leading receiver with 30 catches for 438 yards and a team-leading five touchdowns.

49ers injury report

Out
WR Dante Pettis (knee)

Doubtful
CB Jimmie Ward (hamstring)

Questionable
WR Pierre Garcon (shoulder, knee)
CB Richard Sherman (calf)
WR Trent Taylor (back)
CB K'Waun Williams (shoulder)
CB Ahkello Witherspoon (concussion)

49ers practice report

FRIDAY
Did not practice
WR Dante Pettis (knee)
CB Richard Sherman (calf)
CB Jimmie Ward (hamstring)

Limited practice
WR Pierre Garcon (shoulder, knee)
WR Trent Taylor (back)
CB K'Waun Williams (shoulder)
CB Ahkello Witherspoon (concussion)

Full participation
RB Matt Breida (shoulder, ankle)
LB Reuben Foster (shoulder)
G Joshua Garnett (toe)
WR Marquise Goodwin (hamstring, quadricep)
TE George Kittle (knee)
G Mike Person (knee)
C Weston Richburg (knee)
T Joe Staley (knee)
S Jaquiski Tartt (shoulder)

Rams injury report

Out
WR Cooper Kupp (knee)

Rams practice report

FRIDAY
Did not practice
WR Cooper Kupp (knee)

Limited practice
DE Michael Brockers (shoulder)

Full participation
DE Michael Brockers (shoulder)
LB Matt Longacre (back)
WR Josh Reynolds (hand)
G Rodger Saffold (knee)
C John Sullivan (not injury related)
T Andrew Whitworth (not injury related)
K Greg Zuerlein (right groin)