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Jimmy Garoppolo set to return from injury for 49ers

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.

Player Notes
Michael Thomas Oct 22 3:30pm ET

New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas (ankle, hamstring) was not present during the period of practice open to the media on Thursday after he was limited on Wednesday. Thomas hasn't appeared in a game since suffering a high-ankle sprain in the season-opener, and he tweaked his hamstring in practice this week, potentially making him questionable for Week 7 against the Panthers. The All-Pro wideout was set to return in Week 5 before the team's bye, but he punched a teammate in practice and was held out for disciplinary reasons. His practice status on Friday will be telling. Even though the Panthers have allowed the fourth-fewest fantasy points to wideouts this year, Thomas is a must-start in fantasy if he returns on Sunday after being the top-scoring fantasy receiver in 2019.

From RotoBaller

Diontae Johnson Oct 22 2:30pm ET

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Diontae Johnson (back) practiced fully on Wednesday and appears to be trending up ahead of his Week 7 matchup with the Tennessee Titans. Johnson left during Week 5 with a back injury and was inactive for Week 6's game against the Cleveland Browns. His ability to practice on Wednesday bodes well for his availability for Sunday's game. If Johnson is able to suit up, his role as the No. 1 receiver could be in question as Chase Claypool has exploded for five touchdowns over the past two games. Fantasy gamers can start Johnson as a WR3 but keep expectations in check until we see how the target distribution shakes out this weekend.

From RotoBaller

Eric Ebron Oct 22 2:30pm ET

Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Eric Ebron disappointed in a plus matchup against the Cleveland Browns last week, finishing with just two catches for nine yards. He will look to make amends in yet another good matchup against the Tennessee Titans in Week 7. Tennessee's defense has struggled against tight ends this season, allowing the seventh-most fantasy points per game to the position through five games. That being said, Ebron has not been a big part of the Pittsburgh offense and now isn't even the top red-zone threat on his team thanks to the emergence of rookie Chase Claypool. Fantasy gamers can treat Ebron as a TE2 for Week 7.

From RotoBaller

JuJu Smith-Schuster Oct 22 2:20pm ET

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster has been overshadowed and out-produced by rookie wideout Chase Claypool over the past few weeks. While Claypool has five touchdowns in his past two games, Smith-Schuster has just six catches for 34 yards over that same span. He draws a tasty Week 7 matchup against a Tennessee Titans pass defense that ranks just 24th in DVOA and is allowing the fourth-most fantasy points per game to wide receivers. Despite the great matchup, Smith-Schuster is tough to trust as anything more than a WR3 due to his recent slump.

From RotoBaller

Sterling Shepard Oct 22 1:40pm ET

The New York Giants activated wide receiver Sterling Shepard (toe) from Injured Reserve on Thursday, and he'll be eligible to play on Thursday night against the Eagles. Shepard was expected to be one of the team's leading receivers in 2020, but he missed the last four games due to turf toe. In the first six quarters of the season, Shepard caught eight passes for 76 yards. He's the team's longest-tenured player and has started 54 of the 55 regular season games that he's played in and has 255 career catches for 2,838 yards and 17 touchdowns. The 27-year-old is certainly worth owning in 12-team leagues after leading the Giants in receiving last year, but he's a risky option for your starting lineups this week and could have his snap count limited in his first game back.

From RotoBaller

Daniel Jones Oct 22 12:50pm ET

The New York Giants plan on using first-round left tackle Andrew Thomas in the starting lineup on Thursday night against the Eagles, according to an informed source. Thomas was benched in the first half of the Week 6 win over the Washington Football Team for violating a team policy, but he will return this week in good standing with the coaching staff. The tackle from Georgia will return to his role as the blind-side protector of quarterback Daniel Jones for this divisional matchup. The Eagles Defense ranks fourth in the NFL this year with 21 total sacks through six weeks, too, so Thomas will have a tough task in keeping Jones' jersey clean throughout the night.

From RotoBaller

Danielle Hunter Oct 22 12:40pm ET

Minnesota Vikings star defensive end Danielle Hunter (neck) will have season-ending surgery to clean up a herniated disc in his neck. The Vikings will have to decide if they want to make Hunter the highest-paid defender in the league this offseason or trade him away. Minnesota was optimistic in August that Hunter could rehab his injury and return this year, but that didn't turn out to be the case. At 1-5 on the year, the Vikings Defense loses Hunter for the entire season after just trading Yannick Ngakoue to the Ravens. The 25-year-old was a Pro Bowler each of the last two years while recording 14.5 sacks in each season as a top IDP pass-rusher. You can now safely drop him in single-year IDP formats.

From RotoBaller

Dez Bryant Oct 22 12:30pm ET

The Baltimore Ravens are planning to sign veteran wide receiver Dez Bryant to their practice squad if his workout goes well and he passes a physical, according to a source. The Ravens worked Bryant out in August, but he is expected to finally land in Baltimore. The 31-year-old is back in the NFL after last playing in a game in 2017 with the Cowboys when he caught 69 passes (132 targets) for 838 yards and six touchdowns over a full season. Bryant latched on with the Saints several years ago but tore his Achilles before he could even get on the field with them. It remains to be seen what kind of condition he's in at this juncture or if he even has a realistic chance to make the team's active roster, but it's interesting nonetheless. There's no need to run to the waiver wire and pick up Bryant just yet.

From RotoBaller

Calais Campbell Oct 22 12:20pm ET

The Baltimore Ravens and Minnesota Vikings are finalizing a trade on Thursday that would send defensive end Yannick Ngakoue to the Ravens for a 2021 third-round pick and a 2022 conditional fifth-round selection, according to sources. The Vikings sent a 2021 second-round pick and a 2022 conditional fifth-rounder to the Jaguars to acquire Ngakoue earlier this year. A Ravens Defense that was already one of the top units in the league gets better and pairs Ngakoue with Calais Campbell on the defensive front. Ngakoue had just two solo tackles in Week 6 against the Falcons, but he's recorded five sacks, two forced fumbles and seven QB hits in six games this year and has been a top-10 IDP defensive lineman. He could become even more productive in Baltimore's defense the rest of the way.

From RotoBaller

Jarvis Landry Oct 22 12:20pm ET

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Jarvis Landry revealed to reporters on Thursday that he is playing through a broken rib. The Cleveland wideout took a big hit during his team's Week 5 game against the Indianapolis Colts and had to crawl off the field. He wound up missing just five plays in the eventual win. Landry is admittedly in pain but he is not expected to miss any games at this point, although he may practice sparingly going forward. Even before the rib injury, Landry was off to an extremely slow start in 2020. With a cracked rib now affecting him, it is hard to be bullish on his fantasy prospects going forward. Landry will presumably be in uniform when the Browns take on the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 7 but he is not a recommended play as anything more than a flex.

From RotoBaller

Tyrod Taylor Oct 22 12:20pm ET

Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Tyrod Taylor (lung), who has been out around a month with a punctured lung, has been medically cleared, according to a source. Rookie quarterback Justin Herbert has played exceptionally well in Taylor's absence and remains the starter coming out of the bye week, but Taylor could return as the backup in Week 7 against the Jaguars if all goes well in practice this week. The 31-year-old veteran began the year as the Chargers signal-caller, but we all knew it was a temporary gig until the Bolts felt comfortable giving the keys to the rookie from Oregon. Taylor was always more of a low-ceiling QB2 to begin with, and now he's completely off the fantasy radar unless Herbert gets injured and misses time.

From RotoBaller

Dez Bryant Oct 22 11:53am ET

Free-agent WR Dez Bryant (Cowboys) is expected to join the Baltimore Ravens' practice squad if his workout goes well, and he passes a physical.

From TheHuddle

Tyrod Taylor Oct 22 11:53am ET

Los Angeles Chargers QB Tyrod Taylor (lung) has been medically cleared to resume practicing. He could return as backup this week.

From TheHuddle

Zach Ertz Oct 22 11:50am ET

Philadelphia Eagles tight end Zach Ertz (ankle) is expected to miss four to six weeks after suffering a high-ankle sprain in the Week 6 loss to the Ravens. As a result, the Eagles placed him on the short-term Injured Reserve, meaning he'll be eligible to return in Week 10 against the Browns, but he could easily be out longer than that. With Dallas Goedert (ankle) potentially also out until Week 10, Richard Rodgers will become the club's top pass-catching tight end. Rodgers is worth a pickup in deeper leagues or if you're hurting at the tight end position, but he should be considered a low-end TE2 with target upside in this injury depleted Eagles offense. Ertz should be stashed everywhere, as he could return to help fantasy teams that advance to the playoffs.

From RotoBaller

Alshon Jeffery Oct 22 11:40am ET

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Alshon Jeffery (calf, foot) was hoping to make his season debut on Thursday night against the Giants, but he was ruled out for Week 7 due to a minor calf strain that he suffered recently. The Eagles are hoping he can ramp himself up and be ready to face the Cowboys in Week 8. The 30-year-old just can't get away from the injury bug, which has caused most fantasy managers to completely forget that he exists at all. But Jeffery should be the team's top receiver when/if he's finally healthy this year. It might not amount to him being much more than a WR3/4 for fantasy purposes, but those in deeper leagues looking for receiver depth should consider stashing him now.

From RotoBaller

Greg Olsen Oct 22 11:20am ET

Seattle Seahawks tight end Greg Olsen has been in TE2 territory in each week, and nothing much should change in Week 7 against the Arizona Cardinals. Olsen is a solid red-zone threat every week, but he's a touchdown-dependent TE2 who hasn't scored since the season-opener against the Falcons. Outside of Week 1 against San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle, the Cardinals have faced a relatively light schedule of tight ends. As the season has gone on, Olsen has developed his connection with quarterback Russell Wilson, but he caught his only target for 20 yards in the Week 5 win over Minnesota before the bye. He'll need to find the end zone again to reward his fantasy managers that take a chance on him.

From RotoBaller

Seattle Seahawks Oct 22 11:20am ET

The Seattle Seahawks Defense has been one of the worst in the NFL through the first six weeks of the season, and that is unlikely to change in Week 7. The Arizona Cardinals are averaging a healthy 27 points per game, and quarterback Kyler Murray has done a decent job of taking care of the ball. The Seahawks don't have the pass rush to generate pressure on Murray and they should be avoided in the majority of fantasy leagues, even with multiple quality defenses on byes this week. You can find a better option for Week 7 lineups.

From RotoBaller

Jason Myers Oct 22 11:20am ET

Seattle Seahawks kicker Jason Myers hasn't been the best kicker for fantasy this season, but he has some upside in Week 7 against the Arizona Cardinals. This Seahawks offense is the best in the NFL thus far, and they consistently give him scoring opportunities. The only problem for Myers thus far has been that the offense has been too efficient down in the red zone. With multiple teams on bye again this week, you're just looking for someone that will come out and get you some points. That's what Myers will do for you this week.

From RotoBaller

Ryan Tannehill Oct 22 11:20am ET

Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill is coming off a season high 364 yard performance and heads into week seven with confidence but faces a stingy Steelers Defense that allows just 18.8 points per game thus far. Tannehill has thrown multiple touchdowns in 13 of his last 15 regular-season starts and his resurgence has continued into 2020. The Titans like to limit his attempts per game, so Tannehill will likely play at a mid-tier QB2 in this matchup.

From RotoBaller

Frank Gore Oct 22 11:20am ET

New York Jets running back Frank Gore has taken over the lead back duties with the departure of Le'Veon Bell. The veteran back has done what he can, but the Jets offensive line doesn't give him much help. He saw 11 carries for 46 yards against the Miami Dolphins last week. Gore is expected to have a similar workload against the Buffalo Bills in Week 7. Maybe, Gore could have some deep league value here, but it's difficult to trust anyone on the Jets not named Jamison Crowder.

From RotoBaller