SANTA CLARA -- It looks like Jimmy Garoppolo will start Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts.
Garoppolo, who strained his right calf two weeks ago against the Seattle Seahawks, practiced Monday with the 49ers following their bye week. Meanwhile, Trey Lance, who sprained his left knee a week ago against the Arizona Cardinals, did not practice Sunday.
Last week, head coach Kyle Shanahan said Garoppolo will remain the starting quarterback as long as he's healthy. And right now, it's unclear if he's 100 percent healthy, but it's clear he's healthier than Lance, who wasn't healthy enough to stand on the practice field or warm up with his teammates.
This news allows Shanahan to go back to Garoppolo without fans complaining. Because if Lance were healthy, most 49ers fans would be livid if Shanahan were to go back to Garoppolo, because it's clear at this point that the 49ers aren't Super Bowl contenders with Garoppolo on the field. So delaying Lance's development seems like a waste of time.
So Lance most likely will have a week to recover, which is smart. The 49ers shouldn't throw him back onto the field until he's 100 percent healthy. He's too important to the future of the franchise -- he IS the future of the franchise. The 49ers need to protect like they didn't do last Sunday against the Cardinals. Garoppolo, conversely, probably won't be here next season, plus the 49ers are paying him nearly $27 million this season. He can get out the pain of a calf injury.
And unfortunately for Garoppolo, he most likely will get injured again soon -- he has gotten hurt three times in his past nine starts. And if and when he does get nicked up for the next time, Lance should be healthy enough to play.