San Francisco 49ers

He’s on crutches, but Jimmy Garoppolo is back in the house

San Francisco 49ers vs. Los Angeles Rams: Chris Biderman’s five players to watch

Chris Biderman of the Sacramento Bee highlights five players to watch on Sunday night when the 49ers travel to take on the Rams, Oct. 21, 2018.
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Chris Biderman of the Sacramento Bee highlights five players to watch on Sunday night when the 49ers travel to take on the Rams, Oct. 21, 2018.

The 49ers welcomed back their face of the franchise this week.

Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo returned to the team’s headquarters on Tuesday, coach Kyle Shanahan said, sporting crutches and facial hair following surgery to repair the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee suffered Sept. 23 against the Chiefs.

“He’s still on his crutches and everything so he’s not going out to practice or anything,” said Shanahan. “But, it was good to see his face. Definitely he’s grown his beard out a little bit. You can tell he’s been sitting in a hospital or a bed most of the time. But, it’s good to have him back in the building. He’s got to make a few more strides just healing from the surgery and things like that and we’ll get him around a lot more.”

Garoppolo hasn’t spoken publicly since suffering the injury during the fourth quarter of the loss in Kansas City Sept. 23. Nor has the team said who performed the surgery or where it took place. Garoppolo has been seen in the locker room since though he hasn’t stuck around long enough to speak with reporters.

All indications signal he’s in good spirits.

“He seems good,” Shanahan said. “Seeing him in the meetings, just talking to him a little bit, I think he’s happy to be back with the team and get back into this with us.”

Said Joe Staley: “He’s just rehabbing. Getting back slowly. ... He’s the same old Jimmy.”

The 49ers have lost three straight games since Garoppolo’s injury with second-year pro C.J. Beathard under center.

The Iowa alum is coming off one of his best performances Monday night in Green Bay when he threw for 245 yards on 16 of 23 completions (70 percent) with two touchdowns. However, his late-game interception set up the Packers final drive that ended with the game-winning field goal as time expired.

Pettis ruled out, Ward questionable: Receiver Dante Pettis (knee) was ruled out of Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Rams. It will be his third straight game since sustaining the injury during a punt return Week 4 against the Chargers.

Pettis’ absence was felt less against Green Bay thanks to Marquise Goodwin’s return to the lineup following bouts with thigh and hamstring injuries. Goodwin finished with his first-career two-touchdown game and a personal best 126 receiving yards.

Defensive back Jimmie Ward was tabbed doubtful to play Sunday after suffering a hamstring injury in the fourth quarter against the Packers. The 49ers would likely replace him with Ahkello Witherspoon or Greg Mabin after Ward appeared to nail down the starting job opposite Richard Sherman last week. Previously, the team went with a three-man platoon between Ward, Witherspoon and Mabin based on health and match ups.

Listed as questionable to play: Receiver Pierre Garcon (shoulder, knee), Sherman (calf), receiver Trent Taylor (back), slot cornerback K’Waun Williams (shoulder) and Witherspoon (concussion).

Shanahan’s Sanders’ jersey stolen: The 49ers will be debuting their all-white throwback uniforms this week honoring the club’s last Super Bowl winning team in 1994. Shanahan said they serve as a painful reminder from his formative years when he lost a Deion Sanders jersey from that season.

“I’m still a little sensitive about it,” he said. “But, I had too many people over my senior year of high school and someone jacked it from my house. I’m still looking for that guy. So, if you see someone wearing an authentic Deion jersey, 75-year anniversary, please let me know.”

Shanahan said his team is looking forward to wearing the new duds, which have been a hit among fans and have been among the best-selling jerseys in the NFL.

“They usually like change, new uniforms, whatever it is, and I think they like the ones that we’re wearing this week. I always think you look faster in all white, so hopefully it makes them feel faster. If you feel faster, you usually are faster,” Shanahan said.

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