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Is it time to tank? It might be time to tank. It might also be a little too late to tank. The 49ers, if they still intend to be a playoff team, have a less-than-spectacular chance of still being one.
Both starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and star tight end George Kittle were injured on Sunday and did not return against the Seattle Seahawks. Both suffered serious injuries which will sideline them for most of, if not the remainder of the season.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Garoppolo, who re-injured his ankle, will be out at least six weeks and potentially longer if his ankle requires surgery. Kittle, meanwhile, suffered a broken bone in his foot and is out eight weeks, meaning he is likely done for the season. The 49ers did not see a fracture on X-rays during the game, but MRIs showed the fracture on Monday.
Jimmy Garoppolo is expected to be sidelined a minimum of six weeks and possibly longer if surgery is needed, per source.
George Kittle is out eight weeks with a broken bone in his foot, which means his season could be over.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 2, 2020
What does this mean for the team’s future? It could mean the end of the Jimmy Garoppolo era in San Francisco. While he is due $26.9 million and $27.0 million in each of the next two seasons, Garoppolo only has $2.8 million in guaranteed money remaining. That means San Francisco could save $24.1 million by cutting Garoppolo this offseason. If the season continues to go sideways, well, they may end up being able to target a quarterback in the first round, or trade up.
Trevor Lawrence is clearly destined for the New York Jets and Justin Fields is probably out of reach, too, but there are a number of enticing other options like North Dakota State’s Trey Lance, Florida’s Kyle Trask and BYU’s Zach Wilson. Yes, we’re talking about a drafting a new franchise quarterback for a team that’s 4-4. It’s a weird year, folks.