Jimmy Garoppolo, Raheem Mostert Did Not Return for 49ers vs. Jets with Injuries

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistSeptember 20, 2020

SANTA CLARA, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 11: Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers looks to pass against the Minnesota Vikings in the third quarter during the NFC Divisional Round Playoff game at Levi's Stadium on January 11, 2020 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

The San Francisco 49ers are without two of their most important offensive players after quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (ankle) and running back Raheem Mostert (knee) both exited against the New York Jets and did not return.

Garoppolo was taken into the locker room for X-rays, per Matt Barrows of The Athletic. After the game, San Francisco head coach Kyle Shanahan revealed Garoppolo suffered a high ankle sprain.

As for Mostert, Adam Schefter of ESPN reported Mostert has a "mild" MCL sprain and that his timeline for return depends on the results of his MRI.

Those injuries coincided with defensive lineman Nick Bosa and Solomon Thomas also leaving Sunday's game with knee injuries. Per Shanahan, Bosa likely tore his ACL and Thomas is feared to have done the same, but the latter requires more testing.   

The 28-year-old Garoppolo is coming off his first full healthy season as a starting quarterback in the NFL. He threw for 3,978 yards, 27 touchdowns and 13 interceptions for the Niners as they claimed the NFC championship.

For some, though, his performance in Super Bowl LIV was a stark example as to his limitations. Garoppolo finished 20-of-31 for 219 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.

General manager John Lynch confirmed he and Shanahan talked about pursuing Tom Brady in free agency but remained committed to the Eastern Illinois product going forward. The team traded a second-round pick to New England for the former second-rounder.

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Replacing Garoppolo isn't an unfamiliar position for San Francisco since he missed all but three games in 2018 because of a torn ACL. The Niners initially turned to C.J. Beathard before he was hurt as well, forcing Nick Mullens to ascend to the starting role.

Both played reasonably well, which will provide a level of confidence about the offense without Garoppolo under center. Shanahan has earned the benefit of the doubt by now, though, so fans should remain cautiously optimistic about the idea of Beathard or Mullens as the starter, with Mullens getting the nod on Sunday. 

Mostert is also a major loss. After emerging as the team's best running back in the second half of the year and the postseason, he started 2020 off with a bang, with 23 carries for 148 yards and a score as well as six receptions for 110 yards and another touchdown in two games. 

While he's out, Jerick McKinnon and Tevin Coleman should split backfield duties.