SANTA CLARA (CBS SF) — San Francisco 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan was still holding onto hope Wednesday that injured quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo can recover enough to be able to play Sunday against the NFC West leading Phoenix Cardinals.
The oft-injured Garoppolo hurt his right calf in the first half of a 28-21 loss to the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday and missed the entire second half.READ MORE: Oakland Police Seize Flamethrower, Drugs, Cash In Illegal Casino Bust
“It’s better today which is good news — not enough to let him go,” Shanahan said. “But also not enough to rule him out. Doctors still say to give him another day. He got a chance so we are still holding out for that.”
The 49ers head coach admitted Garoppolo’s uncertain status made it a challenge to put in the game plan to take on the undefeated Cardinals.
“It’s always a challenge,” Shanahan said. “Regards of which way you go (Garoppolo or rookie Trey Lance), there are always a few different plays here and there, but a quarterback still has to do similar stuff regardless whose in there.”
Lance, who played only seven snaps the first three weeks, delivered an up-and-down performance in relief with a game-plan that was not tailored to his strengths and with little work in practice with the starting offense.
San Francisco went three-and-out on Lance’s first two drives as he was off-target on his two passes and couldn’t convert a third-and-4 run.READ MORE: Man Sentenced to 9 Years in Prison For Horrific Box Cutter Attack on Elderly Victim in Concord
He fared better after that, taking advantage of a blown coverage to connect on a 76-yard TD pass to Deebo Samuel and then led a late TD drive after the game had mostly been decided.
Lance, who was selected in the first round after the 49ers traded three first-round picks to move up to select him finished 9 for 18 for 157 yards, two touchdowns, a 2-point conversion run and 41 yards rushing.
Shanahan said the team was waiting for the swelling to go down in Garoppolo’s injured calf to see how well he can move, plant his foot and throw.
“It (the swelling) has gone down,” the 49ers coach said. “It’s a good sign in compared to how we felt Sunday night, but not enough for him to go out there today.”
Lance has been taking the majority of the snaps with the first unit this week. He should be much better prepared no matter what his role will be Sunday.
“It’s huge,” Shanahan said of the practice reps. “It’s huge for whoever goes in there. You put in a new game plan on Wednesday morning and they go out and practice Wednesday. Then Thursday you put in a whole new thing for third down, short yardage, goal line. They go out Thursday and do it. Friday you try to review some stuff but you put in a bunch of red zone stuff. That’s why no matter what the position is, the guys you are expecting to play get all those reps.”MORE NEWS: Mudslide Blocks Highway 128 Near Lake Berryessa
“I think it’s been huge for him (Lance) to have all that time (the first four weeks of the season) where he could just go play quarterback,” Shanahan continued. “Not get tied down to learning what’s in for that day. Just playing football and getting better at that.”