49ers Head Coach and QB Not On Same Page With Injury

Jimmy Garoppolo already had an injured thumb. Then, he hurt his shoulder during the 49ers/Cowboys Wild Card game last Sunday. Coach Kyle Shanahan didn’t think the shoulder injury impacted Garoppolo’s performance, but the San Francisco signal caller said, “Every throw was impacted.”

With video analysis, let’s break the tie on who is telling the truth.

The evidence sides with Jimmy G, as his first half quarterback rating was healthy 106.3 (11/14, 133 yds, 0 TD, 0 INT) but after the shoulder injury, the second half QB rating was a paltry 4.0 (3/11, 39 yds, 0 TD, 1 INT).

Take a look for yourself at how he was injured at the end of the first half:

Injuries beget injuries, and Garoppolo admits he was worried about landing on his thumb so he “tried to catch it with my elbow a little bit and just jammed the shoulder up.”

This type of mechanism can cause a contusion and swelling in the rotator cuff, which is a very important for positioning the head (ball) of the humerus to work properly. Think of it like positioning a golf ball on the sweet spot of your club for maximum power, distance and accuracy.

The 49ers QB will now have two injuries to contend with in the frozen tundra of Green Bay. He admits that grip was the issue on the 4th quarter interception overthrow that let Dallas back into the game. The cold might help numb the thumb UCL tear, but it will make it harder to grip the ball and to keep the rotator cuff loose and warm.

There is no doubt Jimmy is starting versus the Packers, as they don’t seem to trust rookie Trey Lance in the big games. How well and how accurately Garoppolo can throw downfield will be the questions.

Written by Dr. David Chao

David Chao, MD -- known digitally as Pro Football Doc -- is an expert contributor for Outkick. Chao spent 17 seasons as the team doctor for the San Diego Chargers (1997-2013) and is part of the medical team at OASIS in San Diego where he treats and specializes in orthopedic sports injuries, working with high-profile professional athletes from the NFL, NBA, and MLB.

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