Jimmy G's return to practice unlikely ahead of NFC title game


SANTA CLARA -- Jimmy Garoppolo's return to practice this week is doubtful as the 49ers prepare for Sunday's NFC Championship Game against the Philadelphia Eagles. 

“I don’t think so,” coach Kyle Shanahan said Monday via conference call. “I think he gets x-rayed tomorrow to see how things are going. But still same as last week — I would be very surprised if he was out there this week.”

On the first drive of the club’s Week 13 win over the Miami Dolphins, the veteran quarterback was tackled awkwardly while scrambling in the backfield. Garoppolo’s attempt to keep the 49ers within kicker Robbie Gould’s field-goal range was successful, but his availability during the regular season came to an abrupt end with a broken foot. 

Original diagnosis at the beginning of December put the quarterback’s recovery at six to seven weeks. On Friday, near the seven-week mark of his injury, Garoppolo was seen working on the side field with team medical staff for the first time since he was injured. 

With Brock Purdy’s success on the field, there is no quarterback controversy -- but if healthy, Garoppolo could assume the backup role behind the rookie quarterback currently held by journeyman Josh Johnson. 

In his rookie season, Purdy has completed 151 of his 229 attempts for 1,920 yards, 16 touchdowns and four interceptions. The rookie has not looked nervous or inexperienced on the field while leading the team through the NFL playoffs. 

Before his injury, Garoppolo was playing the best football of his career, completing 207 of his 308 attempts for 2,437 yards, 16 touchdowns and four interceptions. 

RELATED: Shanahan strikes optimum balance with Purdy, 49ers' run game

With Garoppolo’s several years of experience in Shanahan’s system, the veteran likely would be the option that the head coach would lean towards if healthy enough to play in a game. 

But for now, it's the Brock Purdy show as the Iowa State product attempts to help his team make an appearance on the biggest stage of them all. 

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