Just about anytime anything noteworthy happens to Jimmy Garoppolo, his former New England Patriots teammate Tom Brady surely will be asked to talk about it.
That was the case Monday, a day after Garoppolo was pressed into action when Trey Lance sustained a season-ending broken right ankle in the 49ers’ 27-7 win over the Seattle Seahawks at Levi’s Stadium.
“[I’m] obviously very sorry for Trey [Lance],” Brady said on SiriusXM podcast “Let’s Go! with Tom Brady, Larry Fitzgerald and Jim Gray” on Monday. “And I’ve followed that all offseason with Jimmy, you know, kind of in his rehab and I’ve known Jimmy so well. I’ve known Jimmy since he was a rookie and Jimmy and I have been friends a long time. And just seeing him, how he’s handled kind of his own adversity, is really gonna prepare him for what’s ahead. It’s interesting in the NFL, you know, when one door closes I think another one opens.
“I think Jimmy and everyone was set on him being somewhere else. And the reality is they found a place where they could agree on something that worked for both parties and sure enough the first game at it, Jimmy’s out there playing with Trey getting injured. And as tough as it is for Trey to get injured, Jimmy steps in there and does a great job. So I think everyone is probably pretty happy with how things turned out from Jimmy’s standpoint. Obviously not with Trey and the injury. But things have a crazy way of working out. … You never know when that opportunity’s gonna present itself and when you get it, you gotta go out and take advantage of it. So I was really happy for Jimmy to go in there and do a great job yesterday.”
A bizarre situation took another turn Sunday when Lance suffered the injury late in the first quarter. Garoppolo, who didn’t expect to be on the 49ers’ roster, put on his helmet and assumed his old role as San Francisco’s quarterback.
Garoppolo expected the 49ers to trade him this offseason after they decided to make Lance the starting quarterback. But when no deal materialized before the start of the season, the 49ers and Garoppolo worked out a contract agreement where he took a pay cut to remain on the 53-man roster as Lance’s backup. The new pact includes bonuses that allow Garoppolo to earn a lot of the money he gave back by playing and winning games.
A year after helping the 49ers reach the NFC Championship Game, Garoppolo began the 2022 season as QB2. Two games in, he’s back to QB1, while Lance, the No. 3 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, will spend the foreseeable future rehabbing after ankle surgery Monday.
If Garoppolo and Brady manage to stay healthy, they will see each other in Week 14 when the 49ers host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at 1:25 p.m. PT on Sunday, Dec. 11 at Levi’s Stadium.