Following Sunday's loss to the Miami Dolphins, Jimmy Garoppolo didn't confirm whether he would start for the 49ers ahead of the Week 6 matchup against the Los Angeles Rams.
Garoppolo appeared in just two quarters of the Week 5 matchup before being pulled at the half while trailing 30-7. Kyle Shanahan conceded it wasn't the quarterback's 77-yard, two-interception performance that inserted backup C.J. Beathard into the lineup. Instead, the head coach believed Garoppolo's lingering ankle injury was impacting his play on the field.
San Francisco's quarterback missed two weeks while working his way back from a high-ankle sprain. Garoppolo didn't have a full practice until Friday, where Shanahan said the quarterback was cleared by the team's medical staff and didn't experience excessive soreness, giving him the green light for the Week 5 start.
Instead, the quarterback struggled. Ankle injuries can affect a quarterback in a number of ways, including mobility and accuracy. Garoppolo couldn't evade Miami's pass rush, being sacked three times in the first half for 23 yards. He also wrestled with being able to step into his throws, which was evident in the 49ers miscues and costly turnovers.
Shanahan's awareness that the 49ers would be forced to rely heavily on their passing game in the second half might have shielded Garoppolo from any additional impediments. Fortunately, for San Francisco, the quarterback didn't experience any regression on his mending ankle.
"Jimmy came in good (on Monday)," Shanahan said. "I know he's sore from the first half. I think his ankle is a little bit sore and his body a little bit from some of the hits that he had. But nothing that made it worse. It was like you would expect after a game. Nothing too bad happened. We got him out of there before that did."
The 49ers remain positive in Garoppolo's ability to return to the field. San Francisco will need their roster near perfect as the team enters a gauntlet of matchups against above .500 teams over the course of the next six weeks. But first, the 49ers focus is on the Week 6 meeting against division rival Los Angeles Rams, a matchup that's likely to determine the direction of their hoped salvageable season. And despite Garoppolo's reluctance to confirm, the signs are pointing to the quarterback returning under center on primetime.
"We'll see how he is on Wednesday," Shanahan said. "I expect him to be at least the same, if not better. So, hopefully we can get a week of that and have no setbacks (on) Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. And hopefully we get him out there Sunday night."