It remains to be seen when Lance could replace Garoppolo, but Niners coach Kyle Shanahan looked more uncertain about his quarterback situation on Sunday night than he has ever been this season.
In the wake of a 30-18 loss to the Indianapolis Colts that knocked the 49ers down to 2-4, Shanahan was asked if Garoppolo would start next week against the Chicago Bears.
“I guess so,” Shanahan said. “I’m going to watch this tape and see if the guys are healthy, first of all. “
Moments later, Shanahan was asked what his process would be in deciding who would be his starting quarterback in Chicago.
“I have a whole team to fear,” Shanahan said. “I’m not just thinking about the quarterback situation right now. I’m going to assess everything, see where our team is, see who gives us the best chance to beat Chicago and see what our options are… But we have a lot to understand. “
By “seeing what our options are,” Shanahan was of course referring to the statuses of Garoppolo and Lance, neither of which has been the image of health in recent weeks.
Against the Colts, Garoppolo returned from the strained and bruised right calf he suffered against the Seattle Seahawks on October 3.
Lance started the Oct. 10 loss to the Arizona Cardinals in place of Garoppolo, but sprained his left knee in that game, making him inactive heading into the game on Sunday night.
While Garoppolo was able to take advantage of the team’s Week 6 exemption to be healthy enough to start against Indianapolis, Shanahan still doesn’t know when Lance will be ready to go. The 49ers were hoping Lance’s injury would only last a week or two, but he missed out on training last week and may still need time to heal before he can even be active again, without talk about starting.
Sadly, Garoppolo is still struggling with his own injuries. After completing 16 of 27 passes for 181 yards with one touchdown, one fumble and two interceptions on Sunday night, Garoppolo admitted that his calf still bothered him throughout the game, although he said it didn’t “bother” him. not at all.
“It held up,” Garoppolo said. “I really felt it sometimes. But that’s sort of what it is. All the guys out there, we’re all playing with something right now. It’s that time of the season. “
In addition to the quarterback situation, the 49ers need to find more answers to what is plaguing them in a hurry. Sunday night’s loss was San Francisco’s fifth in a row to the Colts dating back to 2005 and dropped the 49ers 4½ games behind Arizona in NFC West.
On a rainy and windy night at Levi’s Stadium, many of the same issues that plagued the Niners all season continued to be issues. Namely, an inability to convert on the third down (1 in 11), a negative turnover differential of 2, and a continued penchant for defensive pass interference penalties. The Niners were called up for five defensive pass interference penalties, with the Colts accepting three for 97 yards, bringing San Francisco’s league leader tally to 11.
It all added up to another grim post-game locker room and Shanahan acknowledging that he deserves the criticism that comes with his team’s disappointing start.
“You lose four games in a row, I’m the head coach of this team, I expect it and I deserve it,” said Shanahan.