SANTA CLARA (CBS SF/AP) — A MRI confirmed Monday what most San Francisco 49ers fans feared most — quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo has suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament and will miss the rest of the season.
While trying to cutback on a run, Garoppolo’s left knee buckled just before Kansas City Chiefs’ cornerback Steven Nelson delivered a shoulder-to-shoulder blow. Garoppolo was on the turf for a couple of minutes before he was helped to his feet and eventually carted off late in a 38-27 loss to Kansas City.
C.J. Beathard took over for Garoppolo with just over five minutes left and he appeared to throw a touchdown pass to George Kittle before offensive pass interference wiped it out. San Francisco had to kick a field goal and that wound up being the final margin.
Now, Beathard will be the starter when the 49ers play the Chargers in Los Angeles, and Nick Mullens could get a call-up from the practice squad to serve as the backup.
“Any time you lose your starting quarterback, that’s a big deal. It was when we lost our starting running back, too,” Shanahan said. “Feel for him personally. I know how disappointed he is.”
Beathard said he spoke to Garoppolo briefly in the trainer’s room Sunday and what little of their exchange he was willing to repeat made it quite clear the 49ers’ franchise quarterback — who signed a five-year, $137.5 million extension in February — expected his season to be over.
“I told him I’ll be praying for him and I love him and he just told me to lead these guys,” Beathard said. “I’ve never been in that situation with something possibly that serious. I can only imagine how tough it is for him this early in the season.”
It’s also a big blow for the 49ers, who thought they had the pieces to contend for a playoff spot his season.
“Just like we always do, you show up to work tomorrow,” Shanahan said. “We’ll all be men about it. We’ll grade the tape hard and see what we did wrong. And when we show up Wednesday it’s time to go.
“It’s part of the NFL season. It’s what you have to do,” he added. “We all feel for Jimmy. There’s no doubt about it. We dealt with this with our running back, too. It’s part of the NFL. We’re not the first team this has happened to.”