49ers QB Garoppolo (thumb) returns to training

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SANTA CLARA, California – San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo threw a football on Tuesday for the first time since he suffered a torn ligament in his right thumb on Dec. 23.

That session went well enough for Garoppolo that he followed it up by attending Wednesday’s training to a limited extent.

But Garoppolo did not exactly feel best after the session. Asked Wednesday how it feels to throw with his thumb injury, Garoppolo did not say a word.

“F — that, it hurts,” Garoppolo said with a laugh. “I do not know how else to describe it. It feels like the net in the hand somehow tears a little.”

Even with Garoppolo back in training, coach Kyle Shanahan said rookie quarterback Trey Lance was still expected to take the majority of reps in what was an easier workout.

The Niners face another week of quarterback uncertainty as they prepare for a potential make-or-break game Sunday against the Los Angeles Rams.

“I have not made [a decision on the quarterback] now, which is the truth, “said Shanahan.” And I’ll probably have to make it before the game starts, and I do not want to tell you when I will do it. “

The 49ers went through a similar process last week before playing against the Houston Texans, though it was always clear that Lance would start because Garoppolo did not attend or throw up for that match.

Things seem to be a bit more sinister now that Garoppolo has resumed throwing and will probably continue to practice in some capacity this week.

Garoppolo called Tuesday a “pretty good throwing session,” noting that he was trying to get his movement back while working on a modified tape job on his right hand.

After Garoppolo suffered the injury in the second quarter of the San Francisco loss to the Tennessee Titans, he said he needed to change his throwing motion to ensure a better grip on the ball and deal with the pain in his thumb. But he hopes to return to a more normal movement, given the time he has had to recover.

Still, Garoppolo understands that he will not be at full strength this week, no matter what happens in the coming days.

“Any injury you are certainly not 100%,” Garoppolo said. “It’s one of those things where it’s literally a thing from day to day. Yesterday it felt good, woke up this morning after throwing and it did not feel so hot. So every day will be different. It’s just about retraining it, getting the swelling down, getting the movement down, all the little things. “

Although Lance did well in the win over the Texans – he was 16-of-23 for 249 yards with two touchdowns and an interception for a passer rating of 116.0 – Garoppolo has had success against the Rams in his time with the Niners.

Since arriving in 2017, Garoppolo has not lost in five starts against the Rams, and he posted the season-best 96.1 QBR against them in a 31-10 victory on November 15th. Niners and Garoppolo still will not push too hard this week if he does not feel like it.

“We have to be careful,” Shanahan said. “I certainly think that waiting until we did helped him to this point, but I think every day is a new experience with it, so it will primarily be in Jimmy’s pace and just talking to him. and make sure he does not push it. too hard to give him a chance for Sunday. “

A win Sunday would win a spot in the playoffs and seed No. 6 in the NFC for the Niners. A loss would leave them hoping the New Orleans Saints lost to the Atlanta Falcons so they could sneak into the off-season. It’s the kind of effort the 49ers have not had since 2019 – and the kind that makes Garoppolo want even more than usual to be available.

“It’s just a long season, a lot of things happened … You go through all that just to get an opportunity that we have this Sunday,” he said. “That’s all you can ask for. I want to do everything I can to be out there. It’s a big one. Whatever I can do to be out there, I want to be out there.

“But at the same time, you have to be smart and think about what will be best for the team to win. So you just have to be smart with all the decisions you make.”

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