San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan confirmed quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo may be available to play Sunday against the Houston Texans.
Injuries have become a storyline of Garoppolo's season, at least late in the year. On Dec. 27 he was diagnosed with a UCL tear and fracture in his right thumb, per ESPN's Adam Schefter.
Shanahan said surgery isn't required to repair the thumb.
For the season, the 30-year-old Garoppolo has thrown for 3,494 yards, 19 touchdowns and 10 interceptions, completing 68 percent of his passes. The Niners are 8-6 in his starts.
If he's forced to miss additional time, Trey Lance will step into the starting lineup.
Lance has struggled in his rookie season, throwing for 354 yards, three touchdowns and an interception while completing 52.1 percent of his passes. He's also rushed for 137 yards and a score. The Niners lost his only start of the year.
But while Lance has gone through the usual ups-and-downs you'd expect from a rookie signal-caller, head coach Kyle Shanahan said he was pleased with the young quarterback's progression in December.
"This last month of Trey has been his been consecutive four weeks of practice since we've had him," he told reporters on Dec. 27. "He's had a number of good days and he's had some bad days, like most guys do, but as far as his consistency, I feel this last month has been his best."
If Lance is pressed into starting duty Sunday, the Niners will be hoping that translates to the field as they fight for a playoff berth.