After an encouraging 2017 season, expectations were high for San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo entering 2018. While he started the year with a bad performance against the Minnesota Vikings, he bounced back quickly and despite playing behind an inconsistent offensive line was highly efficient in weeks two and three. Unfortunately, however, he will not be able to build on his recent momentum.
As confirmed by an MRI, Garoppolo tore his ACL during his team’s 38-27 loss against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday and as a result will miss the remainder of the 2018 season. The 26-year old, who was signed to a five-year, $137.5 million during the offseason, suffered the injury on a scramble attempt late in the game: he tried to make a cut to gain additional yardage when his knee gave out.
The quarterback originally joined the 49ers at last year’s trading deadline when the New England Patriots sent him west for a second-round draft pick. Garoppolo had served as Tom Brady’s primary backup for the three years prior to the trade and had established himself as the future Hall of Famer’s potential heir. With Brady not slowing down, however, the team decided to move on from the youngster via trade.
The Patriots also reacquired Brian Hoyer as part of the move: the veteran was released by the 49ers and picked up to serve as New England’s second-string quarterback. Naturally, this sparks the questions whether Hoyer could possibly change teams again in the near future: after all, he knows San Francisco’s system and had served as the team’s starter before Garoppolo was brought on board.
Another 49ers-Patriots trade involving Hoyer appears to be unlikely, though, despite New England having a third quarterback – practice squad member Danny Etling – under contract: Hoyer on the team right now as Brady’s number two appears to have more value to the Patriots than any potential player at another position or a late-round pick during next year’s draft could have.