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 Waiver Wire Adds: Week 8
Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff hasn't been perfect this season, but he's been a decent option as the overall QB14 through seven weeks. In Week 8, he's definitely not going to be near the top of the rankings against the Miami Dolphins. He has the full complement of his receiving weapons, but he's going against a defense that has dramatically improved from last year, especially on the defensive side of things. They're allowing just 16.8 fantasy points per game to the quarterback position, which puts them as the 10th-best unit in football in that statistic. With four teams on bye this week, you might not have a better option, but Goff slots in as a middle-tier QB2 this week.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians said that wide receiver Chris Godwin (finger) could be back in Week 9, but the team still doesn't know when he'll return. "I think it's very optimistic that he'll be back in a week, but it could be possible. We don't know, really, how long. Again, that's why we have the insurance policy," Arians said. Godwin will not play against the Giants this weekend after having surgery on his finger, but if he can't make it back next week, the Bucs will have Antonio Brown making his team debut against the Saints. Godwin has missed three different games with different injuries this year, and his rest-of-season outlook got a lot cloudier when the team inked Brown. Both Mike Evans and Scotty Miller should see plenty of targets with Godwin out against New York this Sunday.
Free-agent WR Trevor Davis (Bears) was signed to the Washington Football Team's practice squad Wednesday, Oct. 28.
Chicago Bears QB Tyler Bray was tagged as a protected practice squad player for Week 8 Tuesday, Oct. 28.
Free-agent G Benjamin Braden (Packers) and DB KeiVarae Russell were signed to the practice squad of the Green Bay Packers Wednesday, Oct. 28.
Seattle Seahawks RB Travis Homer (knee), G Mike Iupati (back), CB Quinton Dunbar (knee, rest), CB Shaquill Griffin (concussion, hamstring), S Ugo Amadi (hamstring), DE Benson Mayowa (ankle), WR Freddie Swain (hamstring) and S Jamal Adams (groin, illness) didn't practice Wednesday, Oct. 28. OT Duane Brown (knee) and DT Jarran Reed (load management) were limited. LB Jordyn Brooks (knee), G Damien Lewis (ankle) and RB DeeJay Dallas (arm) practiced in full.
Free-agent RB Khalfani Muhammad (Broncos) and DE Daniel Wise (Cowboys) were signed to the practice squad of the Arizona Cardinals Saturday, Oct. 28.
Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (groin) expects to return to action in Week 8 against the Packers. Cook was injured in Week 5 and missed the Week 6 contest before the team's Week 7 bye. He was listed as a limited practice participant on Wednesday, which is a good sign, but his fantasy managers would like to see him get in a full practice either Thursday or Friday before they'll feel completely comfortable locking him into their lineups as a high-end RB1 this Sunday. The 25-year-old was leading the NFL in rushing yards before his groin injury and he rushed for 50 yards and two touchdowns in the season-opening loss to Green Bay. If he returns, Alexander Mattison will return to backup duties.
Seattle Seahawks RB Chris Carson (foot) didn't practice Wednesday, Oct. 28.
Fantasy Spin: Carson is regarded as week to week and fantasy managers should have another optioned lined up for at least the short term.
Seattle Seahawks RB Carlos Hyde (hamstring) didn't participate in practice Wednesday, Oct. 28.
Fantasy Spin: Hyde is expected to be in line for an RB1 workload in place of Chris Carson, but fantasy managers will need to see him get on the practice field by the end of the week.
Seattle Seahawks WR Tyler Lockett (load management) was listed as limited at practice Wednesday, Oct. 28.
Fantasy Spin: It's a well deserved light day of work for Lockett following his monumental Week 7 performance. He'll again be a low-end WR1/high-end WR2 in Week 8.
Tennessee Titans RB Senorise Perry (undisclosed) was designated to return from the Reserve/Injured list Wednesday, Oct. 28.
Carolina Panthers wide receiver D.J. Moore has a great chance to stay hot against the Falcons Defense in Week 8. Oddly enough, Moore has compiled exactly 93 receiving yards in three consecutive games, finding the end zone three times in his last three contests. Through the first five weeks of the season, teammate Robby Anderson saw 46 targets to Moore's 37, as the former operated as the team's number-one option. In the last two weeks, Moore has seen 16 targets to Anderson's 13, leveling the playing field a bit. Both should be looked at in the WR2 range, though Moore's ability to make the big play this season gives him WR1 upside on Thursday night.
Los Angeles Rams TE Tyler Higbee (hand) returned to a limited practice Wednesday, Oct. 28.
Fantasy Spin: Higbee should be started in a quality Week 8 matchup against the Miami Dolphins if he's able to take the field.
Los Angeles Rams OL Andrew Whitworth (non-injury), DL Aaron Donald (non-injury), WR Trishton Jackson (illness) and TE Gerald Everett (illness) didn't participate in practice Wednesday, Oct. 28.
Carolina Panthers wide receiver Robby Anderson gets a juicy matchup against the Falcons in Week 8. Anderson torched their secondary in their first meeting back in Week 5, turning 12 targets into eight catches for 112 yards. The 27-year-old has taken a bit of a backseat to fellow wideout D.J. Moore the past couple of weeks, as Moore owns 16 targets to Anderson's 13. Still, Anderson is being targeted more as the receiver on the intermediate routes, which gives him a safer floor than Moore. Expect more targets to go Anderson's way in Week 8, giving him high-end WR2 value.
Green Bay Packers LB Christian Kirksey (pectoral) and WR Allen Lazard (core) were designated to return from the Reserve/Injured list Wednesday, Oct. 28.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Chris Godwin (finger) could miss more than just Week 8, according to head coach Bruce Arians Wednesday, Oct. 28. 'I think it's very optimistic that he'll be back in a week, but it could be possible,' Arians said. 'We don't know, really, how long. Again, that's why we have the insurance policy.'
Fantasy Spin: A prolonged absence could certainly allow for the recently-signed Antonio Brown to make a quick impact once he's eligible to suit up. It's not good news for Godwin's fantasy stock.
Carolina Panthers running back Mike Davis is in a great spot to redeem himself in Week 8 against the Falcons after last week's dud. Christian McCaffrey (ankle) is back practicing, though he is a long shot to play, particularly on a short week. That would leave Davis as the lead back for one more contest against a Falcons' defense that has allowed the 12th-most fantasy points to running backs. Oh, and Davis himself picked up 149 scrimmage yards and a touchdown against Atlanta in Week 5. Start the veteran back for one more week as a high-end RB1.
Dallas Cowboys DT Dontari Poe and DB Daryl Worley were released Wednesday, Oct. 28.