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Jimmy Garoppolo may have been the starting quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers for their win over the Detroit Lions on Sunday, but that doesn’t mean he made it happen. In fact, the team’s first score of the season came on a 5-yard strike to receiver Trent Sherfield — a pass thrown by rookie QB Trey Lance.
Garoppolo probably saw it coming . After the 49ers general manager John Lynch drafted Lance with the third overall pick, Jimmy’s job security became as certain as a rainy day in Nevada. He started the day’s first snap by losing a fumble, which can’t be chalked up to inexperience. He ultimately completed 17-of-25 passes for 314 yards — largely on chemistry with wideout Deebo Samuel, who totaled 189 receiving yards.
In other words, Lance carried the day.
The starting quarterback has been fairly stoic about losing the QB battle against Lance in the offseason, but the Sunday score still must have irked him. When recapping the game in an interview with KNBR, Garoppolo acknowledged he experienced some FOMO when he was forced to remain on the sidelines for the first touchdown of the game, even though he had marched the team down the field.
“Nah, it is what it is type of situation,” said Garoppolo. “It’s one of those we had a good drive, marched down there. Kyle (Shanahan) called the package and he’s the head coach. Whatever he calls, goes. Just one of those things that you can only control what you can control. And I’m out there with my boys, making the best of it, having a good time. At the end of the day we’re playing football, trying to get a win. Whatever it takes. It is what it is, you know?”
After he signed a 5-year, $137.5 million contract with the 49ers in 2018, all signs seemed to suggest that Garoppolo would be the next Russell Wilson or Ben Roethlisberger, the new face of the Niners franchise. Three seasons later, the expected production still hasn’t materialized, and Garoppolo is nearing his exit from San Francisco. Lance is a dual threat playmaker, which signals a new, faster paced offense under Kyle Shanahan. The team already has a gamut of offensive talent, from offensive line to running back, so the shift should excite San Fran fans.
Garoppolo has stoutly maintained his support for Lance, which certainly adds a teary element to this unfolding storyline. But at just 29 years old and with plenty left in the tank, Garoppolo is sure to find a new opportunity once his time runs out in the Bay.
Follow along on Twitter: @AlejandroAveela