Jimmy Garoppolo will be the starting quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers for the foreseeable future after Trey Lance suffered an ankle injury during Sunday's 27-7 win over the Seattle Seahawks, but he felt for his teammate in the aftermath.
"Feel terrible for Trey. I've been on that side of it; this league is tough," he told reporters. "… That sucks for him. Feel bad for him, but he's our brother and we'll pick him up."
Lance was carted off the field with an air cast, and head coach Kyle Shanahan told reporters the quarterback broke his ankle and will have season-ending surgery Monday.
As Garoppolo mentioned, he is familiar with significant injuries from his own experience.
A torn ACL limited him to three games in 2018, and he played just six games in 2020 because of ankle problems. He also underwent shoulder surgery this offseason, which may have contributed to San Francisco's inability to trade him when it moved on to Lance as its starter ahead of the 2022 campaign.
For much of the offseason, it seemed inevitable that Garoppolo would be moved as the 49ers shifted their attention to Lance, who they traded up to select with the No. 3 pick of the 2021 NFL draft.
While he is an unproven player, their thinking was he brought a much higher ceiling than Garoppolo, who often managed the game and can't make as many plays with his legs.
Alas, San Francisco's decision to keep the veteran who led it to the NFC Championship Game last season and the Super Bowl in the 2019 campaign has proven fortuitous since he has been thrust back into a much bigger role with Lance's injury.
Garoppolo went 13-of-21 for 154 yards, one touchdown and zero interceptions while also running for a touchdown in Sunday's win. It wasn't a spectacular individual effort, but he did enough to win with the talented supporting cast around him.
That is what he has done for much of his career, and he will look to continue doing so with Lance sidelined.