The SAP Performance Facility is already a bit of a ghost town. The calendar has turned to 2019, and the San Francisco 49ers offseason has begun. Most players have already dispersed around the country, enjoying some down time and catching up with loved ones.
Some remain in the Bay Area – mostly players who are working their way back from injury. Jimmy Garoppolo and Jerick McKinnon were among those working out at 49ers HQ.
“I’m happy with where I’m at right now,” Garoppolo said on Monday in regards to the state of his rehab. “We’ve just got to keep it going. It’s nice to have Jet there – going through it together.”
Garoppolo is a few weeks behind McKinnon in the recovery process from their respective ACL tears, but the quarterback said he’s working to catch up. They’ve both been limited to linear movements thus far. Lateral work is on the horizon in the coming months.
“Jimmy and Jet” sounds like a catchy name for a musical duo, but that really is the state of things – they know they’re in this together and grateful for it. Film sessions have been added to their repertoire of late in addition to the physical rehab. So much of what Kyle Shanahan planned for offensively in 2018 was predicated around Garoppolo and McKinnon. That is likely to be the case once again next season, which makes it crucial for both players to be on the same page. That’s been the case, according to Garoppolo.
“He sees it as I see it, and I see it as he sees it,” the quarterback said. “It’s good that we’re both thinking the same way. It’s been a good process, but we’re looking forward to getting back out there.”
Although Garoppolo’s injury took place three weeks after McKinnon’s, he’s likely to make it back on the practice field sooner. There’s far less explosive movement that goes into being a quarterback which is why Kyle Shanahan hopes that Garoppolo will be able to throw, at least to some degree, during OTAs.
Garoppolo told reporters on Monday that what he missed most was being in the huddle on gameday. He wore an ear piece on the sideline for the team’s final few games so that he could hear everything Nick Mullens heard on the field. Garoppolo tried to put himself into the moment as best he could.
“You run through the plays mentally and try to get a picture and stay locked in,” he said.
Garoppolo explained that he hasn’t spent time dwelling on the play where he got hurt in the fourth quarter of Week 3 against the Kansas City Chiefs. Instead, he’s aiming to make the most of each day as he works his way back to full strength. Garoppolo attended as many team meetings as possible while working around his rehab schedule.
His comeback, along with McKinnon’s, will be highly anticipated by 49ers fans and national media alike. But Garoppolo isn’t bothered by the expectations and hopes of others. That’s because his aspirations are just as high.
“We put more pressure on ourselves than anyone else,” Garoppolo said. “So that’s just hearsay and stuff. We went through a whole offseason of that last year. We’re prepared for that. We’ve just got to keep getting better.”