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 7
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Ben DiNucci is being prepped as the starting quarterback for Sunday's game versus Philadelphia with starter Andy Dalton still needing to clear the league's concussion protocol before he can return to action. Dalton took a frightening hit to the head during Sunday's loss to Washington, paving the way for DiNucci to finish the game, going 2-for-3 for 39 yards. While Dallas oozes offensive weapons, DiNucci's fantasy prospects are likely not much more considerable than those of Dalton, who has been unable to do much of note in his short time under center this year. A seventh-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft out of James Madison, DiNucci is closer to being targeted for utilizing opposing defenses than for his own arm, although he did throw for nearly 3,500 yards with 29 touchdowns during his final collegiate season.
Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen struggled to move the ball against the New York Jets in Week 7. He completed 30 of 43 passing attempts for 307 yards with zero touchdowns and zero interceptions in the win. Allen was the leading rusher in this game with 61 yards on 11 carries, which helped salvage his fantasy value. This was a surprising dud from Allen, but he is expected to bounce back against the New England Patriots in Week 8.
Seattle Seahawks running back Carlos Hyde (hamstring) is battling hamstring tightness ahead of Sunday's game versus San Francisco. Hyde stepped in for Chris Carson (foot) during the team's loss to Arizona on Sunday, carrying the ball 15 times for 68 yards, including his second rushing score of the year. While Carson sounds determined to return for Sunday, Hyde would see a major role increase should Carson sit out, assuming that Hyde is able to fend off any lingering hamstring issues. Fantasy managers will want to target Hyde as an RB2/Flex if he's available on the waiver wire, although there is considerable risk associated due to both his own injury concerns, along with those of Carson. Check back throughout the week for updates on the Seahawks' backfield situation as it develops.
New York Jets wide receiver Denzel Mims was able to suit up for the first time this season during the Week 7 contest with the Buffalo Bills. The second-round pick finished with four receptions on seven targets for 42 yards in the loss. Mims benefited from the fact Jamison Crowder (groin) was inactive and Breshad Perriman (head) exited early on Sunday. However, it appears Mims is going to have a significant role in this passing attack. He could be an interesting stash option down the stretch.
New York Jets wide receiver Braxton Berrios hasn't been a big part of the offense for most of the regular season. However, he saw an increased role against the Buffalo Bills in Week 7. Berrios saw seven targets, but was only able to haul in four of them for 35 yards in the loss. He benefited with Jamison Crowder (groin) sidelined and Breshad Perriman (head) exiting early. Fantasy owners can continue to ignore Berrios going forward, assuming the Jets get healthy for next week's matchup with the Kansas City Chiefs.
Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones (hip) would have been a limited practice participant Monday had the team taken the field following it's loss Sunday to Detroit. The Falcons will have a quick turnaround with a Thursday showdown with Carolina, a contest that Jones is now questionable for due to the ailment. Jones has found an elite rhythm over his past two contests, combining for 16 receptions, 234 receiving yards, and two touchdowns. Both he and Calvin Ridley have managed to succeed at a high level even with the presence of the other, but Ridley would undoubtedly ascend the rankings should Jones be held out. Check back later in the week for updates on the seven-time Pro Bowler as it concerns his status for what should be a favorable matchup against the Panthers' secondary.
New York Jets running back La'Mical Perine saw a bigger role in the gameplan during the Week 7 loss to the Buffalo Bills. He played 70 percent of the offensive snaps, which isn't surprising after head coach Adam Gase mentioned he wanted to get Perine more involved. Perine saw 11 carries for 39 yards and one touchdown with two receptions for 16 through the air. He could have some low-end flex value in PPR leagues against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 8.
San Francisco 49ers running back Jeff Wilson Jr. (ankle) is expected to miss at least the next month due to a high ankle sprain that he sustained Sunday versus New England. Head coach Kyle Shanahan said that Wilson would be headed toward injured reserve earlier in the day, with the severity of the injury revealing itself Monday night. Wilson appeared to have vaulted past Jerick McKinnon in the backfield pecking order, although it's likely McKinnon and JaMycal Hasty will see the vast majority of reps next Sunday versus Seattle. While Wilson's three-touchdown breakout performance was exhilarating, his absence should keep fantasy managers from nabbing him off the waiver wire with Raheem Mostert (knee) also apart of future 49ers backfield plans.
New York Jets wide receiver Breshad Perriman (head) was forced to exit early during the Week 7 loss to the Buffalo Bills. He hauled in both of his targets for 27 yards before suffering a head injury and landing in concussion protocol. The Jets offense is horrendous and Perriman hasn't been able to do much when healthy. He might have some low-end deep league value next week, assuming he's cleared to play.
Los Angeles Rams tight end Tyler Higbee (hand) has been ruled out for Monday's contest versus the Chicago Bears, with Gerald Everett expected to see the vast majority of reps at TE1 in his place. Higbee's hand injury severely hampered him during practice throughout the week, leading to the absence. Having established a steady, yet modest rapport with Jared Goff this year, Higbee's fantasy prospects have taken a dip due just one performance with more than three receptions this season. He will have less than a week to get ready for next Sunday's matchup against Miami, with the team's bye week on the horizon. Those in season-long formats can begin to look elsewhere due to the combination of tough matchups, injuries, and a bye week ahead for Higbee.
New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold was back under center against the Buffalo Bills in Week 7. He missed each of the two previous contests due to a shoulder injury. The Jets were hopeful that their offense would get a slight boost with Darnold back as the starter. He started off hot, connecting on seven of his first eight targets. However, Darnold came back down to Earth after that. He completed 12 of 23 passing attempts for 120 yards and zero touchdowns with two interceptions in the loss to the Bills. He'll get a matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 8. My condolences to any fantasy owners forced to use Darnold..
Chicago Bears outside linebacker Khalil Mack (back) has been given the thumbs up to take the field for Monday's game against the Rams, strengthening the team's defensive outlook further. Mack has continued to be monitored heavily in practice throughout the week prior to taking the field, but it hasn't slowed his production in the slightest with 4.5 sacks and a fumble recovery to his credit across the first six games. Those that rolled the dice on the Bears Defense in season-long fantasy will have Mack on the field for a unit that remains an above-average option moving forward, even with matchups against New Orleans and Tennessee on the horizon.
New York Jets running back Frank Gore has been the lead back for this offense since the departure of Le'Veon Bell. Sadly, this offensive line is horrendous and Gore hasn't been able to do much damage. He rushed 11 times for 60 yards in the Week 7 loss to the Buffalo Bills. La'Mical Perine continues to see his workload increase, so Gore's fantasy value won't be great going forward. He might be a desperation deep league option against the Kansas City Chiefs next week.
The Los Angeles Rams have declared C Brian Allen, WR Trishton Jackson, PK Kai Forbath, TE Tyler Higbee and RB Xavier Jones inactive for Week 7.
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel (hamstring) is likely to miss at least the team's next two games due to a hamstring ailment that he sustained Sunday during the win over New England. With the 49ers having two games in the next 10 days, Samuel's window of recovery is thin, paving the way for Brandon Aiyuk and Kendrick Bourne to see considerable roles in the passing game Sunday against a fraught Seahawks secondary. Samuel has developed into an integral cog in the San Francisco passing game, but his next best opportunity at returning to the field comes Week 10 against New Orleans. Check back for updates on his status as they emerge.
Dallas Cowboys defensive end Everson Griffen is reportedly available to be acquired by an interested organization ahead of the NFL Trade Deadline. Griffen, a Pro Bowler in four of the past five seasons, has compiled 20 combined tackles and 2.5 sacks in his first seven games with the Cowboys Defense. With Randy Gregory having been activated to the active roster prior to the team's game Sunday versus Washington, Griffen has become an expendable piece for a team whose defensive production has fallen off significantly in 2020. While Philadelphia -- Dallas' opponent Sunday -- has scuffled offensively as of late, the Cowboys' defense has virtually no fantasy intrigue in any format with or without Griffen due to the league-high 34.7 points per game that they've allowed this year.
Seattle Seahawks running back Chris Carson (foot) is likely to miss "some time" due to the foot injury that he sustained Sunday against Arizona, but he is reportedly hoping to return quickly. Carson has battled multiple injury issues thus far in 2020, but has not yet missed a game, even as his status for Sunday versus San Francisco is certainly not trending in the right direction. Carlos Hyde filled in once Carson left against the Cardinals and accumulated 68 yards and a touchdown on the ground; Hyde would figure to hold RB2 appeal once Carson is officially ruled out, although the veteran is dealing with a hamstring issue in his own right. In addition, Seattle could opt to focus even further upon its passing game in the coming weeks, which should be a boon for those fantasy managers relying upon Russell Wilson, DK Metcalf, and Tyler Lockett.
Baltimore Ravens RB Mark Ingram's (ankle) status for Week 8 will not be known until later in the week, according to head coach John Harbaugh.
Fantasy Spin: Fantasy players will need to monitor Ingram's practice participation during the week to see if he has a chance to play. He will continue to be part of a committee if he plays and can be benched because of the tough matchup.
New England Patriots LB Brandon Copeland (pectoral) suffered a torn pectoral during the Week 7 game and will miss the rest of the season, according to a source. He is scheduled to undergo surgery within the next week and will be sidelined for four to six months.