San Francisco lost more than a football game Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium. The 49ers appear to have lost their quarterback for the foreseeable future.
The 49ers fear that quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo tore an anterior cruciate ligament after his left knee buckled prior to a collision with Chiefs cornerback Steven Nelson, coach Kyle Shanahan said. Garoppolo, who departed the field on a cart, was running along the sideline, and rather than simply stepping out of bounds, he attempted to drive through Nelson for extra yardage.
At least one Chiefs player took notice of the play’s high-risk, low-reward nature.
“I think that was his fault. I pray he’s not hurt, nothing serious, but as a quarterback, you should step out of bounds,” Chiefs linebacker Justin Houston said. “It’s only an inch. That inch would’ve made a difference. You got the yardage you need. You step out of bounds. You gotta be smart and think about your team.”
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Garoppolo was driving the 49ers late in the game on a long third-down play. Houston actually nearly sacked him before he was able to scramble toward the sideline. Garoppolo absorbed the brunt of the hit with Nelson around the 7-yard line.
“If I would’ve got my sack, he wouldn’t have even rolled out of the pocket,” Houston said. “I had him in my hands, so if I make the play, it’s dead.”
Garoppolo has been an infusion to the offense in San Francisco. He was 5-0 after taking over the starting job last year.
On Sunday, he was 20 for 30 passing for 251 yards and two touchdowns.