When reports surfaced yesterday that injured quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo may return for the playoffs, the San Francisco 49ers fanbase was elated. This would mean the Niners not having to rely on the likes of Brock Purdy and Josh Johnson in meaningful postseason games. Moreover, Jimmy G's return would present a markedly better chance at winning the whole thing.
Head coach Kyle Shanahan, however, put a damper on those hopes Wednesday. Shanahan offered a more pragmatic and sobering view of Garoppolo's situation, cautioning the press that Jimmy's road to recovery could be a long one.
"It's still going to be a big recovery," Shanahan said at today's press conference. "There's that way outside chance [of Garoppolo returning] late in the playoffs, but just an outside chance. We're not real optimistic about it, but never rule it out."
Further, Shanahan offered a 7-to-8 week timetable for Garoppolo's recovery. Not for Jimmy to be ready to play football, Shanahan stressed- but just for his injured foot to have healed.
Shanahan may very well have seen Adam Schefter's report yesterday tabbing Garoppolo as a potential playoff contributor, and felt the need to put out a fire. Nobody wants to hear the news that Jimmy G may be done for the year, and the Niners will have to rely on career reserves at quarterback, but that may be the reality of the situation.
We should expect to hear more in the coming days and weeks regarding Garoppolo's recovery, and whether a postseason appearance is possible or pure fantasy.