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.
Sunday Morning Update: Week 7
Denver Broncos tight end Noah Fant (knee) is officially active for the team's Week 7 game against the Kansas City Chiefs. Fant missed the team's last game against the New England Patriots while dealing with a knee injury. Fant will help give the team's offense a much-needed boost in a game where they'll need to put up some points to keep pace with the Chiefs. Through four games this year, Fant has 19 catches for 219 yards and two touchdowns.
Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Diontae Johnson (leg) suffered an injury after a reception late in the fourth quarter of Sunday's game against the Tennessee Titans. He was helped off the field after the play and appeared to have hurt his leg. With the play coming late in the game, it might be unlikely that he'll return to the game. Johnson has had a great game with nine catches for 80 yards and two touchdowns.
San Francisco 49ers running back Jeff Wilson Jr. (calf) is officially active for the team's Week 7 game against the New England Patriots. Wilson has been nursing a calf injury that forced him to miss the team's previous game against the Los Angeles Rams. With Raheem Mostert (ankle) on Injured Reserve, Wilson should see some opportunities in the game, but Jerick McKinnon will lead the backfield and rookie JaMycal Hasty may have passed Wilson on the depth chart as well. Wilson shouldn't be started in any fantasy leagues this week.
New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman (knee) had been limited at practice this week while dealing with a knee injury. However, he is officially active for the team's Week 7 game against the San Francisco 49ers. Edelman has struggled lately, with just seven catches over his past three games. He's tough to trust for fantasy purposes right now, but he should remain owned in all leagues as he can be a fantasy stalwart, especially in PPR, if he gets rolling.
Los Angeles Chargers running back Justin Jackson (knee) is officially active for Sunday's game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Jackson was limited in practice this past week while dealing with a knee injury. He has a fantastic matchup against a Jaguars Defense that has been torched on the ground this year. He should lead the Chargers backfield in the game with Joshua Kelley in a supporting act. Start Jackson as a low-end RB2 or flex.
Dallas Cowboys QB Andy Dalton (head) went to the locker room after taking a helmet-to-helmet hit during the Week 7 game.
Fantasy Spin: Ben DiNucci will take over the starting job as long as Dalton is sidelined. Dalton likely will be evaluated for a concussion and does not have a timetable for his return. Fantasy players should avoid the Cowboys quarterback situation until Dalton is back on the field.
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Andy Dalton (head) has been taken out of the game in the third quarter of Sunday's game against the Washington Football Team. Dalton slid forward on a rushing attempt and was hit hard in the head by Jon Bostic. Dalton was helped off the field and Bostic was ejected from the game. Rookie seventh-round pick Ben DiNucci entered the game to take over under center for the Cowboys.
The New England Patriots have declared S Kyle Dugger, TE Devin Asiasi, QB Brian Hoyer, DT Carl Davis, CB Myles Bryant and RB J.J. Taylor inactive for Week 7.
The Kansas City Chiefs have declared DE Taco Charlton, LB Darius Harris, OT Mitchell Schwartz, RB Darwin Thompson, TE Ricky Seals-Jones and WR Sammy Watkins inactive for Week 7.
Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Russell Gage (knee) left Sunday's game against the Detroit Lions with a knee injury and was deemed questionable to return. Luckily, he has made his return to the game early in the second half. Gage had two catches for seven yards on three targets in the first half. In the midst of a close game against the Lions, Gage should help give Matt Ryan and the Falcons offense a boost the rest of the way.
Tennessee Titans defensive end Jadeveon Clowney (knee) is questionable to return to Sunday's game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. He left the game early in the third quarter after suffering a knee injury. The Steelers offense dominated the Titans Defense in the first half of Sunday's game. Titans cornerback Kristian Fulton (knee) also suffered a knee injury and is questionable to return as well, making things even tougher on the Titans defense.
The San Francisco 49ers have declared WR Dante Pettis, SS Jimmie Ward, LB Kwon Alexander, QB C.J. Beathard, CB Parnell Motley and SS Jaquiski Tartt inactive for Week 7.
The Denver Broncos have declared TE Andrew Beck, TE Jake Butt, QB Jeff Driskel, LB Jeremiah Attaochu, DT McTelvin Agim, WR Diontae Spencer and OG Netane Muti inactive for Week 7.
The Los Angeles Chargers have declared S Alohi Gilman, OT Storm Norton, OG Trai Turner, OT Bryan Bulaga, QB Tyrod Taylor, WR K.J. Hill and DL Cortez Broughton inactive for Week 7.
The Jacksonville Jaguars have declared OG A.J. Cann, QB Jake Luton, FS Jarrod Wilson, DL Daniel Ekuale, CB Luq Barcoo, LB Myles Jack, TE Tyler Eifert and TE Tyler Davis inactive for Week 7.
Kansas City Chiefs running back Le'Veon Bell could play around 30 percent of the offensive snaps for the Chiefs in his debut for the team, according to James Palmer of the NFL Network. That would be a pretty significant amount of play for Bell in his first game with the team, making him an intriguing flex play in a game where the snow and wind should lead to a lot of rushing attempts. It also knocks a few touches off of our projection for Clyde Edwards-Helaire.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Leonard Fournette (ankle) is active for Sunday's meeting with the Raiders. But with Ronald Jones II playing so well over the past month, Fournette being available doesn't mean much in the grand scheme of things, as he projects to see very few touches and isn't a viable fantasy play right now. Maybe when he's fully healthy, the team will find a way to get him more involved.
The Las Vegas Raiders have declared QB Marcus Mariota, DL David Irving, WR Bryan Edwards, CB Keisean Nixon and OG Patrick Omameh inactive for Week 7.
Updating a previous report, Houston Texans CB Bradley Roby (knee) will not return to the Week 7 game because of his knee injury.
Dallas Cowboys DE Aldon Smith (knee) suffered a knee injury during the Week 7 game but is expected to return to the game.