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 7
Chicago Bears wide receiver Anthony Miller will have a tough matchup to get his season on track in Week 7 against the Rams. Miller has only 10 catches for 52 yards over his last three games and now will face a Rams Defense that is allowing the fewest fantasy points to receivers this season. The Rams have not allowed more than 13 fantasy points to any opposing receiver this season, making Miller a highly risky fantasy play in Week 7.
Chicago Bears tight end Jimmy Graham will go up against a Rams Defense that is allowing the 15th fewest fantasy points to opposing tight ends this season. Graham has been an excellent red zone addition to the Bears with four touchdowns in his first six games. But his production seems to be capping off around three-to-five catches and 30-40 receiving yards a game. Graham's value will be tied to touchdowns and could produce a modest fantasy line in PPR leagues but fantasy teams need to temper expectations against a tough Rams defense in Week 7.
Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford will have a shot at his best fantasy game of the season in Week 7 against the Falcons. Stafford is averaging 248 passing yards a game and has multiple touchdowns in three of his last four games. Now the Lions will go up against a Falcons Defense that is allowing the second most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season. Atlanta has allowed a whopping 18 touchdowns through six games and five of the six teams they have faced have scored at least 26 fantasy points at the quarterback position. Stafford will carry excellent DFS value and has a shot at a top-10 fantasy week against the Falcons in Week 7.
Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson (hamstring) is set to return to the field in Week 7 against the New York Giants. Jackson has been limited to three games so far this season, catching 10 passes for 121 yards on 20 targets. He'll likely be looked at as the team's top receiving threat, which could be an issue facing off the Giants and defensive back James Bradberry. The potential matchup with Bradberry combined with the general struggles of the Eagles offense and Jackson's ever-present risk of re-injury make him just a WR5 in this one.
Chicago Bears wide receiver Allen Robinson II may have his toughest test of the season against the Rams in Week 7. Los Angeles heads into the Monday night matchup allowing the fewest fantasy points to opposing receivers this season. They have allowed only one receiver to post 100 yards against them and no opposing pass-catcher has posted more than 13 fantasy points in one game. Robinson leads the Bears with 474 yards and is averaging 11 targets a game. The matchup is difficult but the Bears will need Robinson to produce if they have any hopes of winning in Week 7. Robinson will carry shaky WR2 value against the Rams this week.
Chicago Bears quarterback Nick Foles will face a Rams Defense in Week 7 that is allowing the seventh fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks this season. Foles took over for Mitchell Trubisky 2.5 games ago and the results have been mediocre at best. The Bears offense has struggled in the running game and the vertical passing game has lacked any semblance of explosion. The Rams defense has allowed only eight passing touchdowns through its first six games and only two quarterbacks have eclipsed 20+ fantasy points against them. Foles has not thrown for multiple touchdowns since replacing Trubisky midway through the third quarter of the Falcons game in Week 3. Foles will carry a low ceiling against Aaron Donald and a tough Rams defense in Week 7.
Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Greg Ward is not a particularly good choice for Week 7 starting lineups. Ward spent some time earlier in the season looking like quarterback Carson Wentz's go-to target, but he caught just two passes for 19 yards on three targets in last week's loss. For the season, Ward has 24 catches on 34 targets, totaling 191 yards. He's an important piece of the Eagles offense on the field, but he's not getting the volume or producing in a way that makes him particularly significant in fantasy leagues. He's a WR5 with a tiny bit of touchdown upside.
Chicago Bears running back David Montgomery will try and lead a running game that has struggled mightily the past few weeks heading into the team's Monday Night Football matchup against the Rams. The second-year running back has posted 50+ all -purpose yards in every game this season but has posted over 60 rushing yards twice. He will go up against a Rams Defense that is allowing the 12th fewest fantasy points to opposing backs this season and have not allowed a running back to post more than 10 fantasy points against them since Week 3. Montgomery will be the featured back in Week 7 but the Bears lack of production in the running game will hurt his value against the Rams.
Philadelphia Eagles running back Boston Scott will lead the Eagles back field in Week 7 with Miles Sanders (knee) officially declared out. Scott had the backfield to himself in Week 1 and only received 11 touches, but he did temporarily have to leave the game due to injury. Still, he has failed to flash the way he did at the end of last season, as he's run the ball 21 times for just 67 yards and made seven catches for 48 yards. Some of that has been his fault while some has been the fault of the Eagles offense as a whole. The offensive line hasn't played well, and everyone else on offense has followed that pattern. Scott should get enough work to fall into the RB2 ranks, but he's by no means a direct replacement for Sanders' production.
Philadelphia Eagles running back Corey Clement will see some more work than usual in Week 7 against the New York Giants. With Miles Sanders (knee) and several others out for Thursday Night Football, Clement will work behind Boston Scott but should still see a significant amount of work in the Eagles backfield. Anyone physically able to catch an American football will likely have some kind of role in this one, as the list of injuries on the Eagles roster seems to be almost as long as the list of available players. Clement may work passing downs while Scott works early downs, but their actual usage remains to be seen. It's possible Sanders will miss Week 8 as well, so Clement is worth a speculative add just in case his role ends up being more significant than expected.
Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid said that newly signed running back Le'Veon Bell will practice with the team on Wednesday, but the Chiefs aren't tipping their hand in terms of Bell's availability for Week 7 against the Broncos. "We will take it day by day...really we got to just have good communication between coach and player to see where he is at, but he'll be in at practice and we will see how he does," Reid said, via Hayley Lewis of KSHB Kansas City. Rookie Clyde Edwards-Helaire went off for 161 yards on 26 carries on Monday night against Buffalo, but Bell will add another dimension to an offense filled with big-time playmakers. Bell could see plenty of matchups against linebackers in space on passing downs, with the rookie mainly working early downs. Until we get a better idea of Bell's role with his new squad, he'll be a shaky RB3/flex in PPR leagues.
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz is a middling QB2 option in Week 7's Thursday Night Football matchup against the New York Giants. Wentz scored three touchdowns last week, throwing for 213 yards and two scores and running for 49 yards and another touchdown, but it was still an overall struggle for him and the Eagles offense. He'll be playing with a group of replacements again this week, with Zach Ertz (ankle) and Miles Sanders (knee) both expected to miss the game. DeSean Jackson is expected back, but no one ever knows how much of a game he'll make it through, and he may be limited regardless. This has all the makings of an ugly, low-scoring game, making Wentz a bad choice in standard leagues and just an okay choice even in 2QB formats.
New York Jets head coach Adam Gase said there's a chance that rookie wide receiver Denzel Mims (hamstring) plays in Week 7 against the Bills "as long as we don't have any setbacks." The second-round pick has yet to make his NFL debut for the winless Jets, but it may come this weekend against Buffalo. New York has nothing to lose at this point and should be looking to get Mims involved the rest of the way, but nobody outside of receiver Jamison Crowder can be trusted for fantasy lineups right now. Mims will be fighting for targets among Breshad Perriman, Jeff Smith and Braxton Berrios when he steps on the field for the first time. The rookie should remain on most single-year waiver wires for now, but he's a name to keep an eye on heading into the second half of the season.
Jacksonville Jaguars kicker Josh Lambo (hip) has been designated to return from Injured Reserve after missing the last four weeks with a left hip injury. The Jaguars have used a revolving door at kicker ever since Lambo was put on IR four weeks ago. They went with Jon Brown, who had never previously kicked in the NFL, in Week 6. In his two games before his hip injury, Lambo made all three of his field-goal attempts and six of his seven extra points. The Chargers Defense, Jacksonville's Week 7 opponent, has allowed the third-most fantasy points per week to kickers, but Lambo just won't be a very trustworthy option coming off injury for an inconsistent Jaguars offense.
Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Alshon Jeffery (foot) and defensive tackle Malik Jackson (quadriceps) have been ruled out for Thursday night against the Giants. While Jeffery has been limited in practice the last couple of weeks, he has yet to make his 2020 debut after offseason surgery. The oft-injured 30-year-old will eventually be a starter for the Eagles as they work him back in, though, so he's worth stashing for receiver depth in deeper leagues. He could very well make his debut in Week 8 against the Cowboys and their awful defense. DeSean Jackson (hamstring) is on track to make his return on Thursday after a three-game absence, which could be bad news for Travis Fulgham, Greg Ward and rookie John Hightower.
Jacksonville Jaguars PK Josh Lambo (hip) has been designated to return from the Reserve/Injured list. The team will have 21 days to add him to the active roster.
New York Jets QB Sam Darnold (shoulder) will be limited in practice Wednesday, Oct. 21.
Fantasy Spin: That's a good sign, neither Darnold or Joe Flacco are starting options in fantasy against the Buffalo Bills this week.
Philadelphia Eagles WR DeSean Jackson (hamstring) is expected to play in Week 7 Thursday, Oct. 22.
Fantasy Spin: D-Jax will be a WR3 with some upside against the New York Giants with the Eagles missing Miles Sanders, Zach Ertz and Alshon Jeffery.
Philadelphia Eagles OT Lane Johnson (ankle), CB Avonte Maddox (ankle) and LB Duke Riley (ribs) are expected to play in Week 7. WR Alshon Jeffery (foot) and DT Malik Jackson (quadriceps) have been ruled out.
New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (shoulder) will be limited in practice on Wednesday. It's a positive step for Darnold, who has missed the last two games with a sprained shoulder. Even if the 23-year-old gets cleared to return to the field this Sunday, he'll be hard to trust as a low-end QB2 in superflex leagues against the Bills. Darnold was 21-for-35 for 215 yards, one touchdown and an interception in the 27-17 loss to Buffalo back in Week 1. Veteran Joe Flacco hasn't been any better in the last two games in place of Darnold, going 39-for-77 for 381 yards, one touchdown and an interception against the Cardinals and Dolphins. The only player you should be using in your starting lineups for the 0-6 Jets is wide receiver Jamison Crowder.