San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo was just getting back into the groove of things. Then on Sunday in the first quarter against the Miami Dolphins, injury struck.
With barely enough time gone to get settled into the game after Tua Tagovailoa's 75-yard bomb for a touchdown, the 49ers were behind after the first play. This isn't ideal and then things have only gotten worse later in the fourth quarter.
How did Jimmy Garoppolo get injured?
The quarterback, who has stepped in for the injured Trey Lance, has now suffered an ankle injury in the first quarter and it did not look good. Garoppolo was seen being helped onto a cart and headed straight down to the locker room.
He completed two of his four passes for 56 yards in the first quarter before the injury. Now, against one of the best teams in the AFC, Kyle Shanahan and the 49ers need 22-year-old Brock Purdy to pull off something special.
When will Garoppolo return?
The quarterback's ankle injury did not look good as it got caught underneath him while being tackled. The 31-year-old was officially ruled out of the game before halftime.
With the 49ers slowly making their way back to the top of the NFC pile with Jimmy G under center, their playoff hopes could now rest on the outcome of his injury.
The 49ers lead the AFC West with a 7-4 record and have a rather difficult run into the playoffs.
Shanahan's team will play Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers next. They'll subsequently face the Seattle Seahawks, Washington Commanders, and Las Vegas Raiders before finishing the regular season against the Arizona Cardinals.
Even with the 31-year-old healthy, that is a tough remaining schedule for San Francisco to navigate.
But if Purdy is the man that is needed for a stretch of those games or even all of them, then the 49ers' ability to secure a playoff spot could come under serious question.
All that 49ers fans could hope for is that the ankle injury is not as bad as it looked.