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There’s nothing official, but all signs point to Jimmy Garoppolo returning from a calf injury to start against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday Night Football.
Garoppolo got hurt in the first half of the 49ers’ Week 4 loss to the Seahawks, and missed the entire second half of that game. He’d go on to miss the club’s Week 5 defeat in Arizona.
Head coach Kyle Shanahan going into the bye week intimated Garoppolo should be good to return in Week 7, but there wasn’t any certainty given the QB’s recent history of struggling with lower leg injuries. The last couple days have provided some additional clarity though.
The 49ers on Monday had a bonus practice where players return from their week away to go through a session where they re-acclimate to the rigors of an NFL week of preparation. Garoppolo was on hand for that session per reporters on site. That’s a good clue that he’s on track to return.
Another clue came in the form of something the 49ers didn’t do. They never brought in an additional quarterback despite the likelihood they’ll be without rookie quarterback Trey Lance in Week 7 because of a knee sprain. If neither he nor Garoppolo are available, Nate Sudfeld would get the start under center.
Had there been a question about Garoppolo’s availability, the 49ers very likely would’ve added another signal caller at some point leading up to Week 6 so Sudfeld would have a backup if he had to start. The fact San Francisco didn’t make a move at the position points to Garoppolo’s readiness for Sunday night vs. the Colts.
If the 49ers are going to get their season back on track following three consecutive losses, they’re going to need better play from Garoppolo. His chance to right the ship coming off an injury appears to be coming at Levi’s Stadium this week.