49ers’ Garoppolo not present at practice, status uncertain two games until playoffs

SANTA CLARA — Jimmy Garoppolo was not present at Monday afternoon’s “bonus” practice as the 49ers got back together after a three-day break, after a last-seconds loss to the Tennessee Titans last Thursday night.

Coach Kyle Shanahan will address reporters after practice at about 1:45 p.m. regarding Garoppolo’s status and whether he is injured ahead of their final two regular-season games.

Garoppolo is believed to be at the team facility, and he is not in the COVID protocol, according to a team source.

The 49ers (8-7) play the Houston Texans (4-11) in Sunday’s home finale, then the regular season concludes Jan. 9 at the NFC West-leading Los Angeles Rams (11-4) with potential playoff seedings at stake for both teams.

Check back here for more updates on this developing story.

Garoppolo played every snap — and every one the past five games — in Thursday’s 20-17 loss at Tennessee, where he passed for 322 yards and a touchdown but had several off-target throws, including two interceptions, a near interception and an overthrow toward an open Kyle Juszczyk.

Rookie Trey Lance has not thrown a pass since his only start, an Oct. 10 loss at Arizona, in which he passed for 192 yards (15-of-29, no touchdowns, one interception) and ran for 89 yards (16 carries). Lance sustained a sprained knee in that game and his only action since then were five snaps (three carries, 4 yards) to close out a Nov. 21 rout at Jacksonville.

Garoppolo gave no indication after Thursday’s loss he was hurt, otherwise noting:  “Just it’s a tough one, but got to take your lumps and move on from it. So, I don’t know. We just didn’t do enough tonight. … We had a chance. I mean, in a game like that you just got off to a hot start like that and we were rolling early on and kind of just got a little sluggish in the middle there. But I don’t know. It’s tough when you let a win like this slip away.”

Garoppolo got sacked twice Thursday night, and after that second one with 10:58 remaining, he completed 8-of-10 passes for 127 yards and a game-tying touchdown to Brandon Aiyuk with 2:20 left.

Garoppolo has missed 1 1/2 games due to injury this season, the result of a calf contusion he sustained Oct. 3 against Seattle that forced him out at halftime of that 28-21 loss, as well as the ensuing defeat at Arizona.

His injury history — anterior cruciate ligament tear in Week 3 2018 and high-ankle sprains last season — prompted the 49ers to trade up to the No. 3 overall spot in this year’s draft, where they selected Lance.

Garoppolo started every game in the 2019 season run to the NFC Championship and an eventual Super Bowl loss. He is 30-14 in regular-season in five seasons with the 49ers, after spending 3 1/2 years as Tom Brady’s backup with the New England Patriots.

If the 49ers need to summon Lance for their playoff run, they would hope to rekindle their 2012 success, when an untested Colin Kaepernick took over for an injured Alex Smith just after midseason and helped guide a veteran-laden unit to the Super Bowl.

Lance’s rookie totals in the five games he’s appeared: 25-of-48 passing for 354 yards with three touchdowns, one interception and three sacks, plus 30 rushes for 137 yards and a touchdown.


Meanwhile, here is what else was seen in the 7-minute media access window, before conference calls with Shanahan and select players:

— Working out on the side were running back Elijah Mitchell (knee), cornerback Emmanuel Moseley (ankle), safety Talanoa Hufanga (knee) and linebacker Dre Greenlaw (groin).

Mitchell hasn’t practiced in three weeks since sustaining a concussion and a knee issue, the latter of which kept him out of Thursday’s loss at Tennessee.

— Wide receiver Deebo Samuel was in his native South Carolina attending Monday’s birth of his son, Tyshun Raequan Samuel, who weighed in at 8 pounds, 15 ounces, as the third-year receiver announced on social media.

Samuel received his first Pro Bowl invitation last week. He’s totaled 1,247 receiving yards (five touchdowns) and 301 rushing yards (seven touchdowns) in 14 games, having missed one with a groin strain.

— Linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair (knee) was not seen at practice. He was to undergo an MRI on Friday to determine the severity of that knee sprain. An elbow injury kept him out of the 49ers’ Dec. 19 win over the Falcons.

— After stretching, the usually quick team huddle lasted over a minute among the players.

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The 49ers (8-7) are in the NFC’s sixth of seven spots with two games to go, and with a meaningful game looming tonight between fellow wild-card contender New Orleans (7-7) and the visiting Miami Dolphins, who’ve won six straight to level their record at 7-7.

If the 49ers, Saints and Philadelphia Eagles (8-7) all win their remaining games and finish in a three-way tie for the NFC’s final two wild-card spots, the 49ers would not advance, based on a tiebreaker in which the Saints would have a better record in games against common opponents.

The 49ers won’t finish last in the NFC West for a second straight season, turning that spot over to the defending division champion Seattle Seahawks, who fell to 5-10 with a 25-24 loss Sunday to the Chicago Bears.

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After losing his first six career starts, Stanford product Davis Mills has quarterbacked the Houston Texans (4-11) to consecutive wins over the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Los Angeles Chargers. Mills, a third-round draft pick, is completing 66.6 percent of his passes for 2,200 yards, with 12 touchdowns and nine interceptions, for an 86.2 rating.

In upsetting the Chargers 41-29 Sunday, Mills passed for 254 yards (21-of-27) with two touchdowns, no interceptions and just one sack.

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