49ers' Jimmy Garoppolo Expected to Be Ready for Training Camp After Knee Injury

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJuly 9, 2019

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo throws a pass at the team's NFL football headquarters in Santa Clara, Calif., Tuesday, June 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is optimistic he'll be available for the start of training camp as he continues his recovery from a torn ACL.

Garoppolo discussed his situation Tuesday with reporters, per Pro Football Talk's Charean Williams:

"The rehab process has gone really well. Knock on wood. We haven't had any setbacks. OTAs went about as well as I could have hoped for and now for training camp hopefully we'll be full go with team drills and all that stuff. We're moving in the right direction. We've just got to keep going day by day and keep stacking them together. It's a long process, but we've come this far, so why stop now, right?"

Garoppolo also said he doesn't think he'll have to open the 2019 season on the physically unable to perform list and will be back to 100 percent for Week 1 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sept. 8.

His 2018 campaign ended in San Francisco's Week 3 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. It was the worst-case scenario for the team after it had re-signed him to a five-year, $137.5 million extension.

The Niners were clearly positioning Garoppolo as their franchise quarterback by giving him such a large contract despite him having played only six games for the team to that point.

Although San Francisco clearly isn't looking to move on from Garoppolo, the 27-year-old might have something to prove following his injury.

Nick Mullens performed well in his absence, throwing for 2,277 yards, 13 touchdowns and 10 interceptions last year. Getting off Garoppolo's contract becomes much easier next offseason as well. The 49ers would save $22.4 million with $4.2 million counting as dead money toward their 2020 salary cap, per Over the Cap.

Assuming he's available, Garoppolo will almost certainly be San Francisco's starting quarterback in Week 1. Should he suffer a setback in his recovery, it could open the door for Mullens to further assert himself as a viable long-term option under center.

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