Jimmy Garoppolo did his best this week to dispel the possibility of being eased into the mix when the 49ers start training camp later this month following his ACL tear suffered last September. He was limited to seven-on-sevens in the offseason program as he continued to heal but expects to be cleared for full-team practices soon.
“I really do,” Garoppolo said in a conference call promoting an annual suit drive from Men’s Wearhouse, according to Pro Football Talk. “The rehab process has gone really well. Knock on wood. We haven’t had any setbacks. OTAs went about as well as I could have hoped for and now for training camp hopefully we’ll be full go with team drills and all that stuff.
“We’re moving in the right direction. We’ve just got to keep going day by day and keep stacking them together. It’s a long process, but we’ve come this far, so why stop now, right?”
San Francisco begins training camp July 26 with Garoppolo headlining a notable group of players that were limited throughout the spring because of preexisting injuries. The franchise signal caller sustained his knee injury Sept. 23 against the Kansas City Chiefs that largely derailed the 49ers’ season, leading to a 4-12 finish.
Coach Kyle Shanahan used three different starting quarterbacks for the second straight season and would like to have Garoppolo start all 16 games for the first time in his career. Garoppolo has never started more than five games in a season and is entering the second year of his five-year, $137.5 million contract he signed in Feb. 2018.
“The training staff, the coaches, we’ve kind of put together a plan and everything like that,” Garoppolo said. “We’ll kind of assess the situation as we get closer to it.”
Garoppolo indicated he’s not expecting to start camp on an injured list, which remains a possibility for other players coming off significant injuries such as linebacker Kwon Alexander (ACL), running back Jerick McKinnon (ACL), cornerback Jason Verrett (Achilles tear) and safety Jimmie Ward (broken collar bone).
Others like linebacker Fred Warner (knee), center Weston Richburg (knee/quad) and defensive back D.J. Reed (torn labrum) were sidelined after having surgeries early in the offseason, though San Francisco is confident those players will be ready soon.
Garoppolo spent time during the team’s summer break in Southern California working with renowned quarterbacks coach Tom House and Adam Dedeaux. He recently returned to the Bay Area to throw with a contingent of his own pass catchers in order to hit the ground running when camp starts later this month.