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
Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey (ankle) appears to be a long-shot to play in Thursday's game against the Atlanta Falcons, though he hasn't been ruled out yet. According to NFL.com's Ian Rapoport, McCaffrey is pushing to play in the game and will try to make as much progress as he can in practice this week. McCaffrey has been sidelined since Week 2 with a high ankle sprain. In his absence, Mike Davis has handled a heavy workload for the Panthers and it appears likely that Davis will have another opportunity for fantasy stardom in Week 8 if McCaffrey is indeed out again.
Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Dede Westbrook (knee) suffered a knee injury during a kick-off return in Sunday's game against the Los Angeles Chargers. The team fears that it could be severe for Westbrook, potentially a torn ACL, which would end Westbrook's season. It's been a disappointing year for Westbrook, who has been inactive for several games and has just one catch for four yards on the year. Westbrook is scheduled for an MRI on Monday that will provide more details on the injury.
Cleveland Browns RB Nick Chubb (knee) could return in Week 10 after the bye, according to head coach Kevin Stefanski.
Fantasy Spin: Chubb should be stashed in all formats. Kareem Hunt is on the RB1/RB2 apex in all formats in the meantime.
San Francisco 49ers running back Jerick McKinnon had just three carries for negative one yard in Week 7. It was a surprising development as McKinnon was presumed to be the team's primary ball-carrier in the game. Head coach Kyle Shanahan recently shed some light on the situation, saying that the team had planned to rest McKinnon all along due to his heavy workload through the early going of the season. McKinnon has missed the past two seasons and with the team's injuries to Raheem Mostert (ankle) and Tevin Coleman (knee), McKinnon has had to take on a bigger role sooner than the 49ers thought. While this justification might not make fantasy owners who started McKinnon this week feel any better, it should at least provide a bit more clarity. McKinnon may end up being a decent low-end flex play in Week 8 as the team will once again be riddled with running back injuries in the game.
Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. reportedly has a torn ACL and will miss the rest of the 2020 season. While the Browns have yet to confirm it, Beckham reportedly texted ESPN's Josina Anderson and informed her of the results of his Monday morning MRI. The star wideout injured his knee while making a tackle following a Baker Mayfield interception in the first quarter of Sunday's win over the Cincinnati Bengals. Minus OBJ, Cleveland will move forward with Jarvis Landry, Rashard Higgins, and Donovan Peoples-Jones as their top three wideouts while Taywan Taylor should get a chance to be active on game days going forward. There's also a chance the team dips into the free-agency pool to fill out their depth at the position. There is no timetable for Beckham's return to the field.
Cleveland Browns WR Odell Beckham Jr. (knee) confirmed that he suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament, and his season is over.
Fantasy Spin: Rashard Higgins caught all six targets for 110 yards yesterday, and he can be viewed as a low-end WR3 right now.
San Francisco 49ers running back Jeff Wilson Jr. (ankle) suffered an ankle injury after scoring his third touchdown in Week 7 against the New England Patriots. He was down on the ground in pain at the time of the injury, suggesting that he was dealing with something significant. Head coach Kyle Shanahan told reporters that he was worried that the injury is a high-ankle sprain, adding that the team should know more soon. Wilson should be considered doubtful for the team's Week 8 game against the Seattle Seahawks. Jerick McKinnon and JaMycal Hasty figure to be the team's primary running backs in the game.
Jacksonville Jaguars WR Dede Westbrook (knee) is feared to have suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in Week 7. He'll have an MRI Monday, Oct. 26, to confirm.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Antonio Brown's deal is likely to be official Monday, Oct. 26, and he'll clear COVID-19 protocol later in the week. Due to his suspension, he can enter the team's facility, but he can't practice.
Arizona Cardinals RB Kenyan Drake's (ankle) X-rays were negative, but he'll have an MRI Monday, Oct. 26.
Fantasy Spin: We'll know more after the MRI, but the X-rays provide a positive light. Chase Edmonds will be a hot pickup this week and could be an RB2 if Drake misses time.
Updating previous reports, Seattle Seahawks RB Chris Carson (foot) has a mid-foot sprain, and an MRI will be taken Monday, Oct. 26, to determine the severity.
Fantasy Spin: Mid-foot sprains can be serious and will probably cost him at least a couple of weeks. Carlos Hyde should vault to a low-end RB2 in the interim.
Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Andy Isabella wasn't able to contribute much in the team's 37-34 win over the Seattle Seahawks in Week 7. Isabella caught just one pass for seven yards on three targets in the game. It's been a rough stretch for Isabella lately. He has just five receptions over his last four games. Christian Kirk has been coming on strong lately, which has led to far fewer opportunities for Isabella to contribute. Isabella should remain on waivers in all leagues at this point.
The Cardinals Defense was the latest victim of the scorching hot Seattle Seahawks offense. The Seahawks compiled 572 yards from scrimmage and put 34 points on the board against the Cardinals in Week 7. Luckily, the Cardinals offense kept pace and managed to lead the team to a win. The Cardinals defense did come up with some key turnovers as they forced three Russell Wilson interceptions and also recorded two sacks. Safety Budda Baker almost scored a defensive touchdown, but was tackled by DK Metcalf inside the 10-yard line after a long interception return.
Arizona Cardinals tight end Dan Arnold had his best game of the season so far in Week 7 against the Seattle Seahawks. He caught two of his three targets for 57 yards. His 41-yard reception was the team's longest passing play in the game. No other Cardinals tight end recorded a catch in the game. Arnold is the clear top pass-catching tight end on the Cardinals, but just hasn't been involved enough to warrant any fantasy consideration. He had four receptions in Week 4 against the Carolina Panthers, then failed to record a catch in his next two games. He should remain on waivers in all leagues for now.
Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Christian Kirk came up with some big plays for the team in Week 7 against the Seattle Seahawks. Kirk caught five passes for 37 yards and two touchdowns on eight targets. Kirk has now posted back-to-back two-touchdown games. He tied with Larry Fitzgerald for second on the team in targets in this week's game. DeAndre Hopkins led the way with 12 targets. Kirk has been delivering great production lately. While he may be a bit inconsistent going forward, he's a solid WR3 or flex option most weeks.
Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald had his most productive game of the season so far in Week 7 against the Seattle Seahawks. Fitzgerald caught all eight of his targets for 62 yards. He was second on the team in receiving yards in the game, behind DeAndre Hopkins, and he tied with Christian Kirk for second on the team in targets. It was the first time this year that Fitzgerald had topped 50 receiving yards in a game and only the second time he'd compiled over four receptions in a game. This week's performance puts Fitzgerald back on the PPR map, though the Cardinals have a bye next week, so he should remain on waivers in all leagues for now.
Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins caught 10 of his 12 targets for 103 yards and a touchdown against the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday night in Week 7. It was his fourth 100-yard game of the season and he now has three touchdowns on the year. Hopkins benefitted from a fantastic performance from Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray, who threw for 360 yards and three touchdowns in the game. Murray and Hopkins have been clicking all year long as Hopkins has dominated targets for the team. Hopkins leads the NFL with 704 receiving yards on the year. He is a no doubt, high-end WR1 going forward.
Arizona Cardinals running back Chase Edmonds gave the offense a solid boost in the team's 37-34 win over the Seattle Seahawks in Week 7. Edmonds carried the ball five times for 58 yards and caught all seven of his targets for 87 yards. He severely outplayed the team's No. 1 back Kenyan Drake (ankle), who managed just 34 yards on 14 carries before leaving the game late with an ankle injury. Drake was carted off to the locker room, which suggests his injury could be significant. Edmonds is going to be a hot waiver wire add this week as he could potentially be the team's new No. 1 back. Keep in mind that the Cardinals have a bye next week, but Edmonds could be a great Week 9 start against the Miami Dolphins.
Arizona Cardinals running back Kenyan Drake (ankle) couldn't get anything going on Sunday night against the Seattle Seahawks. Drake received 14 carries in the game, but managed to gain just 34 yards. He was targeted twice in the passing game and came down with one catch for seven yards. On his last run of the game, Drake injured his ankle and he had to be carted to the locker room. We don't know much about the injury at this point, but Drake could be forced to miss some time, which would make Chase Edmonds the team's new No. 1 back. The Cardinals have a bye next week, so Drake will have extra time to recover before the team's Week 9 matchup against the Miami Dolphins.
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray took advantage of a fantastic matchup against a weak Seattle Seahawks secondary in Week 7. Murray completed 34 of 48 passes for 360 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. He also rushed for 67 yards and a touchdown. Murray has now through for over 350 yards in two of his past three games. However, he's been held under 200 passing yards in two of his past four. This week's game was Murray's best fantasy output of the year. It was the first time he scored four touchdowns in a game this year. He's a no doubt QB1 going forward and this week's performance was clear evidence that he can be a high-end QB1 when he is at his best.