Fri Oct 9 6:39pm ET
By JOSH DUBOW
AP Pro Football Writer
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) passes against the Arizona Cardinals during the first half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, right, greets quarterback Nick Mullens during warm-ups before an NFL football game against the New York Giants, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) Jimmy Garoppolo will return as starting quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers this week after missing the past two games with a sprained ankle.
Coach Kyle Shanahan said Garoppolo will start Sunday at home against the Miami Dolphins. Shanahan wanted to see how Garoppolo made it through a full week of practice before making his decision.
''Each day he got better,'' Shanahan said Friday. ''Never felt too sore the next day. So, we needed to hear that today and see him out there today and we feel good to go.''
Garoppolo had hoped not to miss any time with the injury, having played through ankle sprains before. But this was a more severe high ankle sprain which made it impossible for him to move well enough to avoid danger in the pocket.
He was able to show he was healthy in practice and will provide a needed spark for the 49ers (2-2), who lost 25-20 at home last week to Philadelphia.
''Ankle is feeling really good right now,'' Garoppolo said. ''Got the last couple of weeks off to get it right. The training staff, I tip my hat to those guys, they did a great job with me, just preparing me and everything. But, as far as getting out there, I mean, we've had the whole week to work on it. So, it's feeling pretty good right now.''
San Francisco has a 20-6 record when Garoppolo starts, compared to a 5-21 mark with any other quarterback since Shanahan arrived in 2017.
Garoppolo threw for 3,978 yards and 27 TD passes last season to lead the Niners to 13 wins and was 33 for 49 for 390 yards, four TDs and no interceptions in six quarters this season.
The Niners could have almost all of their key pieces back on offense with running back Raheem Mostert questionable after missing two games with a knee injury and receiver Deebo Samuel questionable with an illness.
Samuel hasn't been allowed at the facility the past two days because he had a fever and aches earlier in the week. Samuel has taken part in meetings and will be allowed back once he passes one more coronavirus test.
Mostert, Samuel, All-Pro tight end George Kittle and first-round receiver Brandon Aiyuk have all missed games this season so the Niners are looking forward to the possibility of having all their important pieces available together for the first time.
''That's exactly how we envisioned it in the offseason,'' fullback Kyle Juszczyk said. ''It's great to finally have everybody healthy and in there together.''
Shanahan also said C.J. Beathard has moved ahead of Nick Mullens on the depth chart and will be Garoppolo's backup Sunday. Mullens played well in his first start this season before getting pulled in last week's loss to Philadelphia after committing three turnovers.
Beathard played well in relief and now will get the first shot if anything happens to Garoppolo.
NOTES: LB Dre Greenlaw will also return after missing two games with a quadriceps injury. ... CB Ahkello Witherspoon (hamstring) is questionable for the game, while DE Ezekiel Ansah (biceps), CB Dontae Johnson (groin), CB Emmanuel Moseley (concussion) and CB K'Waun Williams (knee, hip) are out. ... Ansah and Williams will be placed on IR on Saturday and the Niners will call up at least one more cornerback from the practice squad.
Five Fantasy Takeaways from Week 6
The Los Angeles Chargers have designated defensive end Melvin Ingram (knee) to return from Injured Reserve. Ingram was placed on the IR after the Week 2 loss to the Chiefs. The pass-rusher has two tackles, two passes defensed and one interception in his two games this year and will return to a strong Chargers Defense alongside Joey Bosa. Ingram, a three-time Pro Bowler, will be in play in IDP leagues as soon as Week 7 against the Jaguars if he gets in a full week of practice. Against Jacksonville this Sunday, the Chargers defense should at least be in streaming consideration, especially if they get Ingram back in the fold.
Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said that running back Mark Ingram III (ankle) is dealing with an ankle sprain, but the team is hopeful that he can return after the team's Week 7 bye to face the Steelers in Week 8. Ingram was injured in the Week 6 win over the Eagles in the first half and was ruled out for the rest of the game. The veteran back had only five carries for 20 yards before his injury occurred. Ingram has 50 carries for 225 yards and two touchdowns while adding three receptions for 25 yards through the air in his six games. The injury comes at a good time for Ingram and it doesn't look to be the dreaded high ankle sprain, but he could still be questionable for Week 8. If Ingram can't go against the Steelers in two weeks, rookie J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards would see an increase to their workloads.
Cleveland Browns TE David Njoku, who asked for the Browns to trade him in early July before rescinding the request nearly a month later, has made it be known he would like to be traded before the Nov. 3 deadline.
New York Giants WR Sterling Shepard (toe) is 'a little closer to returning' and his status for Week 6 against the Philadelphia Eagles could come down to a pregame workout, according to comments made by head coach Joe Judge on Monday, Oct. 19.
Fantasy Spin: New York plays on Thursday, reducing the possibility that he'll be able to play. It's much more likely with the one-win Giants give him another 1 1/2 weeks to reintegrate himself into the offense in advance of their Week 8 Monday Night Football game versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It seems unlikely he'll be anything more than a low-end flex option in what is easily one of the worst offenses in the league at this point in the season.
Arizona Cardinals TE Evan Baylis was signed off the practice squad Monday, Oct. 19. DL Trevon Coley and LB Reggie Walker were also elevated to the active roster.
Tennessee Titans WR Corey Davis was activated from the Reserve/COVID-19 list Monday, Oct. 19.
Philadelphia Eagles OT Jack Driscoll (ankle), TE Zach Ertz (ankle), DT Malik Jackson (quad), OT Lane Johnson (ankle), RB Miles Sanders (knee) and K'Von Wallace (shoulder) did not participate in practice Monday, Oct. 19. S Marcus Epps (rib), WR DeSean Jackson (hamstring), WR Alshon Jeffery (foot), CB Avonte Maddox (ankle) and LB Duke Riley (rib) were limited. The Eagles did not practice Monday, so the report is an estimation.
After missing the past two games, Tennessee Titans wide receiver Corey Davis has been activated from the league's COVID-19 list and should be set to return for the team's next game against the Steelers. Davis was having a bit of a resurgence in the first three games of the year, catching 15 passes for 206 yards and a score and starting to look like a viable fantasy play in deeper leagues. We'll see if he can get that positive momentum back.
Free-agent DE Margus Hunt (Saints) signed an undisclosed contract with the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday, Oct. 19, rejoining the team he played for from 2013 to 2016. DL Andrew Brown was waived to make room for him on the roster.
New York Jets head coach Adam Gase says that he isn't going to let someone else call the plays for the 0-6 Jets, saying that play-calling is "Step 10" for the team and that they are currently still on Step 2. It's not a surprise that Gase is being stubborn about this issue, as he's likely feeling immense pressure to turn things around on his own if he wants to find some way to inexplicably keep his job. As long as Gase is the head coach for the Jets, there are very few Jets players who can be trusted in fantasy. The list is essentially just wide receiver Jamison Crowder.
Buffalo Bills WR John Brown (knee) is active for Week 6 against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Fantasy Spin: This was expected despite Brown being listed as questionable on the injury report. Assuming he doesn't suffer an in-game setback, Brown is a strong bet to see at least five to seven targets in a game that could turn into a shootout.
Kansas City Chiefs offensive tackle Mitchell Schwartz (back) is active for Monday's game against the Buffalo Bills. Schwartz will help bolster the Kansas City offensive line, preventing there from being a downgrade to the team's production that could have come if Schwartz was out. Meanwhile, tight end Ricky Seals-Jones is active for the first time this season, though we don't expect to see much from Seals-Jones in this one.
The Buffalo Bills declared RB T.J. Yeldon, QB Jake Fromm, TE Dawson Knox, OL Quinton Spain, DE Trent Murphy, DT Harrison Phillips and LB Matt Milano inactive for Week 6.
The Kansas City Chiefs declared RB Le'Veon Bell, WR Sammy Watkins, LB Darius Harris, RB DeAndre Washington and DE Demone Harris inactive for Week 6.
New York Giants WR C.J. Board (concussion), DB Adrian Colbert (shoulder), LB Tae Crowder (hamstring) and DB Darnay Holmes (neck) did not participate in practice Monday, Oct. 19. WR Darius Slayton (foot) was limited. RB Dion Lewis (hand) practiced in full. The Giants did not practice Monday, so the report is an estimation.
Buffalo Bills running back Zach Moss (toe) is active for Monday's game against the Kansas City Chiefs. T.J. Yeldon is inactive, suggesting that Moss is good to play at least somewhat of a role against K.C. Wide receiver John Brown (knee) is also playing and should see plenty of playing time, though is likely to trail behind Stefon Diggs and Cole Beasley in snaps. Neither Moss nor Brown are great options in season-long leagues, though Moss has appeal due to his projected role in the red zone.
Carolina Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey (ankle) has missed four games with a high-ankle sprain, and head coach Matt Rhule told reporters Monday, Oct. 19, that he's not sure if McCaffrey will return in Week 7, Week 8 or Week 9.
Fantasy Spin: This feels like a head coach being coy with the media, but there also haven't been any significant updates on McCaffrey's recovery either. Carolina doesn't go on its bye until Week 13 and is in the middle of a stretch in which it plays three games in 12 days, so it is entirely possible McCaffrey won't be able to play again until Week 9 against the Kansas City Chiefs. Fantasy owners lucky enough to grab Mike Davis last month could conceivably get two more RB1-level games out of him.
Buffalo Bills defensive end Trent Murphy and defensive tackle Harrison Phillips are expected to be healthy scratches on Monday against the Chiefs, according to sources. Defensive end Bryan Cox Jr. and defensive tackle Justin Zimmer have been elevated from the practice squad. The shakeup comes a week after the Bills failed to sack Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill in their Week 5 loss. Rookie A.J. Epenesa and former first-rounder Vernon Butler will need to step up in a tough matchup against Kansas City. The Bills Defense has taken a step back in 2020 and have averaged only 2.0 sacks per game and were ranked No. 22 against the run by DVOA.
The Dallas Cowboys moved linebacker Leighton Vander Esch (collarbone) to the active roster on Monday and placed quarterback Dak Prescott (ankle) on Injured Reserve in a corresponding move. Vander Esch, who broke his collarbone in Week 1, is expected to play on Monday night against the Cardinals. It's great news for a Cowboys Defense that has been one of the worst through five weeks of the season. LVE is a risky IDP play in his first game back against Arizona, but when healthy, he's in the weekly consideration as a starter at the linebacker position. Avoid Dallas' D on Monday night against a Cardinals offense that can put up points in bunches.
Dallas Cowboys LB Leighton Vander Esch (shoulder) was activated from the Reserve/Injured list Monday, Oct. 19. QB Dak Prescott (ankle) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list to make room for him on the roster.