SANTA CLARA — Jimmy Garoppolo didn’t break into tears but a sense of exasperation and disappointment was evident Sunday, all because of a first-series calf injury that forced him out at halftime of the 49ers’ eventual loss to Seattle.
It, of course, also opened a trap door to his job security. After all, his past health problems prompted the 49ers to draft Trey Lance this year, initially as insurance and perhaps now as Garoppolo’s Week 5 successor.
Two quotes emphasized Garoppolo’s mindset:
1.) “It’s just tough, man. I’ve been in this situation too many times and it gets real old. It’s one of those things that it’s part of the business, though.”
2.) “It’s tough. I put a lot into this and hate to have this happen. Hopefully it’s a small hiccup in the road.”
Garoppolo will undergo an MRI on Monday to reveal the extent of his right calf’s injury, to which he noted he felt it impact his Achilles but does not fear he ruptured that tendon. Regardless, he expects he could miss a couple of weeks, and the 49ers (2-2) next play at Arizona (4-0) on Sunday before drawing a Week 6 bye.
Here is what else Garoppolo and the 49ers had to say after the 28-21 loss to the Seahawks:
QB JIMMY GAROPPOLO
On when the injury occurred:
“It happened on the first series. I don’t know exactly what happened to the calf. I thought I could keep tyring to go and it kept getting worse and worse, traveling down to the Achilles a little bit. We’ll get more information (Monday) with an MRI. Hoping for the best right now.”
On taking himself out?
“It sucked. In between series, I could feel it tightening up. I thought I could gut it out. I tried to for the first half. It’s just tough, man. I’ve been in this situation too many times and it gets real old. It’s one of those things that it’s part of the business, though.”
Could it be a torn Achilles?
“No, I really hope not. It feels like just a calf. I’m hopeful it’ll be just a couple weeks.”
On advice to Lance at halftime?
“Just bring confidence to the guys. He’s going in there. Just bring confidence to the huddle. Get those guys going. We were still in it. It was a good game. Credit Seattle, they played a good game. But we were battling in the first half. Frustrating game.”
On first-half dominance but 7-7 tie?
“It was tough, we were moving the ball well, got backed up a couple of times and got out of it. We couldn’t finish it though. It was one of those days. First drive was good. We had opportunities to take advantage and go up by a couple of scores and couldn’t do it.”
On avoiding worst-case scenario mindset:
“I’m a pretty positive person. I’m trying to stay positive with it. We’ll take it in stride. Tomorrow should answer a lot of questions. It’s tough. I put a lot into this and hate to have this happen. Hopefuly it’s a small hiccup in the road.”
On overall health:
“Felt good pregame and everything. It’s one of those things.”
On if he felt it in his throws:
“I was using all my upper body and could’t step into my throws. My calf is kind of where I get all my power from. It definitely affected some stuff.”
On sleeve he wore on calf afterward:
“I was trying to to keep it warm and the blood flowing. I was out there in case of emergency. I stayed loose in case something happened.”
QB TREY LANCE
On when he became aware of Garoppolo injury:
“Yeah, we saw him. Jimmy battled through a lot last week so I had a ton of confidence in him and hope he’ll be back as soon as possible, because he does a lot for me personally on and off the field, and for the team. He battled through it the whole first half.”
On what he felt upon learning in the locker room at halftime”
“Same thing I’ve been ready for and stay prepared for whenever my name is called. I try to be as ready as possible during the week, so I felt confident in myself and my teammates. As well as our defense was playing and how well we were moving the ball, I felt real good about the situation we were going into.”
On radio going out at times in play-calling headsets:
“I’m not going to make that an excuse at all. It was different, a little frusturating for him and me. It’s just part of the game.”
On shaky start before settling down:
“I don’t want to say nerves or adrenaline or anything like that. I’ve been in games before and I’m thankful for that. I was prepared for the situation and was thankful for that.
“For me, they’re easy throws; maybe thinking to much on the way to George, and the one to Deebo was more of a throwaway than anything, trying to save Deebo. Getting the checkdowns throughout the second half would have been beneficial for me and the offense.
“I’m going to continue to get better, I’ll go watch the tape tonight and I’m excited for this week.”
On his confidence:
“I was confident going into the situation, how talented our team is, our coaching staff was prepared for the situation and helped me stay prepared for it. I wouldn’t say I got more confident as the game went on.”
On how he played:
“There were plays good and bad. I missed some big ones, missed some easy ones, missed some checkdowns, just some plays I want back. I’ll watch it tonight and learn a lot from that.”
On first-team snaps he got in practice:
“I don’t have any number for you but I stay ready mentally, physically, whether it’s walk-through in practice, virtual reality, whatever it is, I try do the most to keep myself prepared.”
On how the game plan might change:
“The general offense is football. There’s not really a way to run just what’s in my package throughout a whole game. I’m prepared to run the offense how it’s supposed to be in a game plan during the week.”
On support from Deebo Samuel:
“Nothing but confidence in the guys in the locker room and myself. I just have to give those guys the ball. Those guys coming up to me gives me confidence, and hopefully I do the same to them.
“I want to be a leader in this locker room. I know it’s something that’s earned, for sure. I’ll continue to get better and learn as much as I can from this game.”
On potentially starting at Arizona:
“I’m definitely excited to learn as much as I can from this one, then turn the page after these 24 hours and get started on Arizona.”
COACH KYLE SHANAHAN
On when Garoppolo got hurt:
“Sometime in the first half. Said he got stepped on. Played for a while with it. Didn’t think it that bad at the time. Then minute fore halftime he couldn’t push off it, and at halftime he realized he couldn’t go.”
Bruise or contusion?
“Don’t know yet.”
On changing the offense for Lance:
“We have packages for him, but the game plan wasn’t built for him. You do the openers and second-half adjustments. We didn’t realize Jimmy wasn’t coming out until the last minute, so we had to make some moves on the fly and do stuff he was comfortable with, and he got better as he went.”
On how Lance played:
“Some good some bad. He got thrown in unexpected. He ran the ball well. Missed some passes. Was in a tough situation when we were down two scores. Did a good job making the chains move at times with his legs. It looked like a typical first game.”
On how he looked in practice:
“Trey’s done a good job and gotten better each week. That’s why he’s was the No. 2 quarterback going into that game.”
On concern about Trent Williams:
“Concerned. For Trent to leave with a shoulder injury and not return, I hope it’s alright. That’s all I know about it.”
On defense and the Seahawks adjustments:
“Having that turnover on special teams definitely hurt (the defense). they got a big play on their first drive. But the defense was strong.”
On 7-7 halftime:
“I was disappointed. It was like 220 yards to 80. You want more points to show for it.”
On trick play (backward pass to Garoppolo who then had a deep incompletion toward Kittle):
“Just how middle third safety was getting off the field. Jamal Adams chased and caught up to it.”
On if Jimmy can’t play Sunday:
“We’ll find out about Jimmy later tonight or early tomorrow morning. Going into Arizona, We’ll put in the best game possible for him.”
On George Kittle health:
“I know he made it through the game, which is encouraging, but he’s done it before and something has been worse later.”
On how to prepare Lance upon learning of Garoppolo’s exit at halftime:
“Halftime so short anyway. We didn’t spend much time doing that. Weren’t expecting it and then it happened. Obviously it had to. If jimmy can’t go in, it’s because he can’t. He never takes himself out.
On how Trey showed as a rookie:
“He went in there unexpected and competed. Trey’s a hell of a football player. You can see that at times throughout the game. Regardless of what’s happening, he always has a chance to make a play. That’s why it was good to take us on a scoring drive at the end.
“It takes some time to play in this league. You can see throughout (the NFL). It’s about knowing when to get rid of the ball. Knowing when to try to make plays, when to check it down, when to hang in the pocket, when to escape.
“He got a lot of real, NFL experience today and hopefully he’ll get better from it.”
On problems with the radio headset:
“The headsets were messed up all day. Don’t know why. Happens once a year and it happened today. Number of times it didn’t work.”
On if Lance is ready to function as the starter and lead:
“He’s got to. If that’s the case, it’s next man up, whether at his positon or another. We’ve been playing with rookie running backs since the second play of the first game, and we’ve got a rookie quarterback right now.
“Hopefully Jimmy is better and it’s not as bad as we think. But Trey is here for a reason. You want to give him the time and have him fully ready. But you don’t always have that luxury, and we’ll find that out the next couple of days.”
As far as expectations as far as heading into the season, where do you think your team is at right now?
“We’re 2-2 and I don’t think much past that. I know we got a good team [Arizona] coming. We’re going there next week. I think they won. So, I know we are going against an undefeated team playing at a high-level and we’re going to have to study this game hard tomorrow. Heal our guys up but Wednesday’s practice and I’m not thinking about anything else, but trying to go against Cardinals.”
With the way your defense was playing early, how uncomfortable are you when you’re going against Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson, given what he’s done in his career and what he’s done against this franchise?
“Always. Usually, no matter how it goes, we’ve played good verse them and we’ve played bad verse them and it always seems to come down within a score at the end. So, you’re always expecting that. That’s why, when you do feel like you have them on the ropes, you want to get more than what we got there in the first half. But that’s why Russell’s a pretty good player and he’s been having a lot of success for a long time.”
Are you going to have kicker tryouts this week?
“I would think so. I don’t know. I haven’t asked about Robbie since right before the game, so but I would assume so.”
You had a long talk with Robbie before the game on the sidelines there. Was it, ‘can you make a short one?’
“It’s all that stuff. You’re really finding out right before the game, so you’re just trying to solve percentage games. Do you want to go for two instead of extra points? Can you kick an extra point? What do you think about Mitch? What’s his chances from an extra point area? Do we feel better about a 30-yarder, or do we feel better about going for it on fourth-and-10? I ask everybody too. You get the analytics of all that stuff. So, you can go with percentages and everything, but that’s something you got to feel out. And I almost went for two on the first one, I got to watch the extra point and it didn’t look pretty, but he made it. So, I was going to kind of stick with it then. Then watched the field goal that looked alright, but it didn’t go in. So, then I was going to go for two the next time. So just basing it off of watching how he is and how he’s going and trying to play the percentages on what gives you the best chance to score.”
Has Mitch practiced that in practice?
“Yeah, they do on the side, but Mitch is also our holder. So, that’s something that Juice [FB Kyle Juszczyk] always has to be ready for too, in case something happens. But that’s something that they’re always working on the side, but nothing that you’re doing in team periods or anything.”
DE NICK BOSA
On fast start:
“We just came out with a better mentality.”
On if it got demoralizing only being up 7-0:
“It feels we always start fast against Seattle. It was 7-0 and we knew it wasn’t close to being over. We knew it’d be a four-quarter game. Even with the fast start, we were pretty locked in the whole way.”
On how defense played
“Pretty well. Came with the right mentality. We were running to the ball, trying to get turnovers and were close to a few. Sometimes it’s luck with turnovers and we can’t seem to get them right now. But we’ll keep going.”
On locker room mood
“Not good whenever you lose. But we have good team and the right mentality. We’ll be ready to go next week.”
TIGHT END GEORGE KITTLE
On early hit that awkwardly bent his right knee:
“It’s football. You take weird hits. That’s why you prepare in the offseason so your body can take all those weird hits and you can get right back up.”
On how he felt about the quarterback change:
“I know Jimmy was hurting. We don’t know obviously what’s going on, but I played with Trey throughout the OTAs and training camp. I was excited to see him get a shot and see what he could do, and I thought he did pretty well for stepping into the situation that we were in.”
On if he calmed Lance down after the first series?
“Just play your game. He’s a good quarterback. So, he’s going to figure it out. I’m not really worried about that. Like I said, he makes plays all the time in practice and stuff. He looks great. So when he was out there, he got his feet underneath him and I thought he started playing at a higher level and we’re going to need that the next week.”
On where the team is now:
“I’m really excited. The sky’s not falling. There’s not a bear in the building. Played really, really well in the first half, just couldn’t execute down the stretch, and had couple turnovers you can’t give to a Seattle team with Russell Wilson.
“We’re disappointed we lost two at home, but what I love about this team is we never give up.
“I know Arizona went into LA and got a nice big “W.” So you’ve got us 2-2, them 4-0. It’s going to be a hell of a battle. NFC West, baby.”
LB FRED WARNER
You guys got off to a fast start today. Anything in particular that you focused on to begin with?
“Yeah, I felt like we did. We came out strong. Our emphasis was just execution. We wanted to make sure we came out and it started the way we did. I was proud of the way we started. We just needed to keep that same level as the game went on.”
Did they make any specific adjustment after the first quarter, because in the first four or five minutes, they didn’t do anything?
“Yeah, it seemed like it. I’ll have to watch it but it seemed like they just tried to spread us out a little more. We needed to be better in the run game and that starts with me. I think they just started converting on third down and we were getting off on third down early in the game.”
What was your guys’ reaction to seeing QB Trey Lance came out in the second half? I understand that all happened kind of fast.
“Yeah, I didn’t really know what had happened with [QB] Jimmy [Garoppolo], but we have a ‘next man up’ mentality. With any situation, we knew as a defense that we need to make sure we continue competing at a high level. Forever in football it always comes down to the turnover battle. We didn’t get the ball out on defense and they got it back twice. It will always start and end there.”
How urgent do things get right now?
“It is always urgent after a loss. It’s not that there wasn’t urgency after last week’s loss. That one stung a lot because of the manner that we lost. It is always going to sting, though, especially in the division. We’re going to be mad about it after losing like that. So, there is always a sense of urgency, and it’s even at a heightened level I’d say. For myself, and I speak for the rest of the team, we are all going to look at ourselves and see how we can get better. It starts as soon as I leave this spot right here. I got to try and find ways to get the ball out and try and create more takeaways and I know that will lead to a higher percentage for us to win games.”
WR DEEBO SAMUEL
When did you know that San Francisco 49ers QB Trey Lance would start the second half?
“At halftime in the locker room.”
What was the big change with Trey coming in?
“There really wasn’t a big change. We just had to adjust and go off the things that Trey is really good at. That is what we did.”
What did you say to try to help him calm his nerves?
“I kind of know what it feels like to be thrown out there. That is kind of what happened to me when I was a rookie but you just have to go out there. Like I told him, I said ‘you have to go out there and get that first drive out of the way. Go out there and be yourself, you know that we have your back’ and that is what happened as you can see, he made a couple plays for us and gave us a chance to come back in the game.”
What was your reaction when you realized how open you were on that touchdown?
“I really didn’t realize how open I was until I saw the ball coming at me live.”
On that second touchdown, did you guys think you had a chance to win?
“That was our goal to go out there and execute an onside kick and it didn’t work and we fell short.”
How long did it take Trey Lance to calm down and get into the swing of things?
“I would say after the first drive. After being out there the first drive he calmed down and as you can see he is pretty good and mobile on his feet. As the play breaks down he is able to be a little mobile and move the ball for us.”
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Author: Cam Inman