If Jimmy Garoppolo's season is over, the 49ers season goes down right with it

49ers lose in KC, Garoppolo possibly out for season

John Dickinson
September 23, 2018 - 4:14 pm

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The 49ers nearly escaped Kansas City with what would have been deemed by many as a second “acceptable loss” in three games to start the NFL season. The 49ers had fought from 35-7 down to get with in two scores against the Chiefs all-world offense and were fighting to make it a one possession game. After getting manhandled in the first half the 49ers were primed to leave Arrowhead feeling good about the way they battled back and hopeful about what the remainder of the season had in store.

Then Jimmy Garoppolo fought for an extra yard while running along the left sideline during a 13-yard gain on 3rd and goal play from from the 20 and everything changed. Garoppolo’s knee buckled before he took a hit that knocked him a out of bounds and in that moment everything changed. The 49ers fear Jimmy Garoppolo has a season ending knee injury with an MRI scheduled for Monday to confirm. 

If in fact Jimmy Garoppolo’s 2018 season is over the 49ers 2018 season dies with it. A year in the 49ers progression toward moving from a bad team to a good one will now be wasted. Make no mistake, injuries are a cruel part of sports that don’t discriminate and C.J. Beathard showed himself to have the potential to be a solid backup when he played in 2017 but any real evaluations of that the 49ers future may hold will have to wait until 2019.

So many simple questions will be left unanswered. How will Garoppolo mesh with his wide receivers? How will the threat of a strong passing game open things up for the running game? How good can Kyle Shanahan and Jimmy Garoppolo be together? Will a more than competent offense help a suddenly porous defense perform more efficiently as the season goes on? 

The biggest question left unanswered however will be how close or far away are the 49ers from being a playoff team and how much talent do the 49ers have to add in the offseason to make them one in 2019. It will be harder to evaluate if the 49ers need to upgrade at wide receiver or running back. There will be no way to know if this version of the 49ers with Garoppolo would have been a 6 win team or an 8 win team or a 10 win team. It will only be an educated guess as to where the 49ers need to add talent on the offensive end and how much they need to add on the defensive side.

Now all of the same questions everyone debated last off-season will be debated again for the next 50 weeks until Jimmy Garoppolo plays a meaningful game and the 49ers will be two full years into Garoppolo’s tenure with the team by the middle of the 2019 season without knowing exactly what they have in him as a QB.

If the 49ers officially announce Jimmy Garoppolo’s season is over on Monday they will also be announcing any meaningful evaluation of the 2018 season is as well.

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