San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is expected to be sidelined a minimum of six weeks after suffering a high ankle sprain against the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN. That absence could even stretch beyond those six weeks if surgery is required. Garoppolo, who already missed extended time this season due to an ankle injury, was removed with 14:02 left to play in the Niners' 37-27 loss in Week 8 and was relieved by Nick Mullens. Prior to going down due to injury, he finished his day going 11-of-16 passing for 84 yards, no touchdowns, and an interception.
"I know it was hurt once we all saw and he didn't go back in on that one play," said head coach Kyle Shanahan, referencing a spot earlier in the contest where Garoppolo seemed to tweak his ankle, but decided to play through until the fourth. "But he had a good week of practice throwing the ball, but high ankle sprains linger so you never know when it's going to affect you."
Garoppolo originally injured his ankle in Week 2 against the New York Jets and was sidelined for two games because of it. Even in his return from that injury, the 49ers quarterback was benched for the second half of Week 5 as the Dolphins were blowing San Francisco out and Garoppolo had noticeably struggled. In that game, he finished with just 77 yards passing and two picks.
That said, the 29-year-old did seem to turn a corner over the previous two games following that benching against Miami, leading his club to back-to-back wins. Over that two-game stretch and coming into this Week 8 contest with Seattle, Garoppolo had completed just over 74% of his passes and averaged 272.5 yards per game through the air while totaling three touchdowns and two interceptions.
Given that six-week timetable, it seems like only a matter of time before the 49ers officially place Garoppolo on injured reserve. While his injury diagnosis is longer than this, the new IR rules for 2020 allow a player to return after three weeks. However, the 49ers don't appear to be holding their breath for a swift return and look like they're putting their franchise QB on the shelf for the foreseeable future to have that ankle fully recover.
In the immediate, Mullens, who completed 18 passes for 238 yards and two touchdowns, looks in line to take over under center as San Francisco prepares to host the Green Bay Packers on Thursday Night Football.