MOBILE, Ala. – Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and running back Jerick McKinnon are on pace to be on the field when the 49ers open training camp in late-July, if not during the team's offseason program.
Recently, 49ers general manager John Lynch witnessed Garoppolo throw a pass to McKinnon at the team’s practice facility as they continue their rehabilitations from ACL surgeries. McKinnon was on the field with rehabilitation coordinator Ryan Donahue while Garoppolo wrapped up a session in the weight room.
“(Garoppolo) was carrying a football and I looked out and he threw one ball to him,” Lynch said Thursday at the Senior Bowl. “It fired me up. That’s what we want them to be doing. They are both working incredibly hard.”
The 49ers expect center Weston Richburg and defensive back D.J. Reed to join Garoppolo and McKinnon in being cleared for the start of training camp. Richburg underwent extensive surgery on his knee and quadriceps after the season. Reed is scheduled to undergo surgery Friday to have a repair a labral tear in his shoulder.
Richburg, who signed a five-year contract worth up to $47.5 million last offseason, sustained a left knee injury in Week 4 against the Los Angeles Chargers. He hobbled off the field, but returned to the game. He was listed as “questionable” for four of the next five weeks. He missed only one game.
“I think it affected his play late in the year,” Lynch said. “He was having trouble anchoring. We decided to go in there and get the thing cleaned up. It’s going to be an extensive rehab. He’ll be right up until training camp.
“We feel comfortable that the end result is it will allow him to perform to the great ability that he does have.”
Reed’s injury was a surprise during his exit physical, Lynch said. He is scheduled to undergo surgery on Friday. His recovery is expected to last six months.
The 49ers are hopeful all four players will be available at the start of training camp.
McKinnon sustained his knee injury one week before the opening of the regular season. Garoppolo went down with his season-ending knee injury in Week 3 at Kansas City.
Garoppolo and McKinnon were being counted on to be the 49ers’ two most-impactful offensive players. Now, they are impacting each other in their rehab sessions.
“Both of their rehabs are going exceptionally well,” Lynch said. “Neither has had any setbacks in terms of swelling or anything like that.
“Jerick is six weeks ahead in terms of time frame. They’re pushing each other. Jimmy is trying to catch him, and Jet is trying to separate. But they’re really relying on each other, so that’s a positive.”