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Jimmy Garoppolo 'Has a Chance' to Play in Week 5 Despite Calf Injury, 49ers HC Says

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVOctober 5, 2021

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo "has a chance" to play Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals.

"It wasn’t as bad as we thought it might have been," head coach Kyle Shanahan told reporters. "Today he’s in a lot of pain and still sore. Wednesday if it’s [getting] better, he has a good chance."

Garoppolo exited San Francisco's Week 4 defeat to the Seattle Seahawks with what was later diagnosed as a calf contusion. He said after the game he was due to get an MRI and was optimistic "it will only be a couple of weeks."

Garoppolo's comment seemed to guarantee Trey Lance would take over as the starting quarterback, even if only for a limited period of time. If so, it's not an unfamiliar situation for San Francisco since the 29-year-old has started only 34 games in five years.

The fact that Lance wasn't the No. 1 guy to open the regular season led to questions about his preparedness for the role. He has thrown for 162 yards and three touchdowns in limited action so far.

The collective performance of the 2021 rookie class (Lance, Trevor Lawrence, Justin Fields, Zach Wilson, Davis Mills and Mac Jones) has served to show there can be a tough learning curve for first-year signal-callers.

After numerous injuries torpedoed the Niners' 2020 season, the franchise is aiming for a return to the playoffs this year. That puts a lot of pressure on Lance's shoulders if he has to lead the offense against Arizona.

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