49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is recovering from the torn ACL he suffered last season.
Late in the 49ers’ final minicamp practice, coach Kyle Shanahan wanted Garoppolo to take a rep or two against a full 11-man defense, Nick Wagoner of ESPN reports.
Shanahan’s instructions for the defensive line were clear, or so he thought: Stand still, put your hands up and do not touch Garoppolo.
“The animals that they are, why we love them, they couldn’t help it,” said Shanahan of a defense that moved toward Garoppolo. “I saw it, so I stopped it. I wasn’t going to mess with it.”
No damage was done, and soon enough, all sides were laughing at the quickly aborted rep.
Garoppolo has not yet been cleared for full contact and was kept out of team drills for the offseason program, though he participated in 7-on-7 and individual drills.
But Garoppolo has mostly moved past the rehabilitation stages of his recovery and is focused on playing at a high level once he is fully cleared.
For Garoppolo, the next month and a half will be every bit as important as the time that preceded it. This season will be a big one for Garoppolo, who signed a five-year, $137.5 million deal in February 2018 but appeared in just three games before the ACL injury ended his season.
Slowly but surely, Garoppolo has progressed, and the Niners are confident he will be ready to go at the start of training camp.
Now, it’s about getting ready for what will happen when Shanahan can’t blow a whistle to stop the pass rush.
“I think all of that will come with time,” Garoppolo said. “I’ll try to implement as many drills as I can during these 40 days or so. But, I think once until the bullets start flying and everything, then we’ll really see.”
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