On Tuesday, NBC Sports Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco reported that San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo passed his physical and will not be on any injured list for the 2022 season.
A day before the first session, Garoppolo and the rest of the squad went through their pre-camp physicals at the team facilities. His clearance will keep him off the PUP list, but it doesn’t guarantee he’ll be able to participate in practice with the team any time soon. To the contrary, it will hasten the 49ers’ trade or release of him, with all indications pointing in that direction.
There will be no decision until quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is cleared, head coach Kyle Shanahan stated on Tuesday.
Shanahan said of Garoppolo’s future, “He knows we have a team to think about, and we’ll work together to figure out the best solution for that.” It’s not yet known whether or not he’ll be allowed to play in the regular season, but he has a throwing program, like all players who undergo elbow or shoulder surgery, to ensure that they don’t re-injure themselves. He’ll be doing this on the side. It’s not in our plans to have him practice with the squad. For now, we’re just going to take things step-by-step and keep in touch with him to see if we can find a solution that works for everyone.”
After suffering an injury in the 49ers’ wild-card victory against the Cowboys in January, Garoppolo underwent offseason surgery on his throwing shoulder. It had been the team’s intention to move him early in the summer, but Garoppolo’s eventual necessity for surgery put an end to that.
Even if Garoppolo returned as a backup, Shanahan made it apparent the team was moving forward with Trey Lance as its starting quarterback.
Although it appears the team will continue to try to trade him, the 49ers releasing the veteran quarterback could be beneficial to all parties in the long run.
Because of Garoppolo’s $7.5 million injury guarantee, the 49ers were hesitant to pursue signing him earlier in the offseason. Once he’s cleared the club will no longer be responsible for that guarantee and will instead take a $1.4 million dead cap penalty for letting him go.
Since his $24.2 million base pay isn’t due until the opening week of the regular season, the 49ers have plenty of time to make a decision. For now, the 49ers have a clear path forward with Garoppolo cleared, so they can move on to their next strategy as soon as possible.