Jimmy Garoppolo still few weeks away from receiving medical clearance

Kyle Madson
Niners Wire

There’s a little clarity on Jimmy Garoppolo’s immediate future. 

He won’t be ready for the start of training camp, and instead is expected to be cleared by the middle of August according to a report from NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport.

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While that does provide some insight into when Garoppolo will be cleared to play football, the timeline doesn’t assist with knowing whether the quarterback will be traded, released or kept on the 49ers' roster.

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) drops back to throw in the first quarter of the NFL Week 14 game between the Cincinnati Bengals and the San Francisco 49ers at Paul Brown Stadium in downtown Cincinnati on Sunday, Dec. 12, 2021.

"We are not gonna get any of those answers until Jimmy Garoppolo is fully healthy and is able to pass a physical, not just from the 49ers, but a potential new team," Rapoport said. "So let’s get an update on how he’s doing physically. I’m told Jimmy Garoppolo saw Dr. Neal ElAttrache, the respected surgeon who did his surgery to repair the torn capsule in his throwing shoulder earlier in this offseason. That was over the last several days.

"He is progressing extremely well, working with a physical therapist every day, doing exactly what needs to be done. It is all positive and the expectation is he’ll be fully cleared – in other words able to make all the throws 40 yards down the field and more – at about mid-August."

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It’s good news that Garoppolo is on track to be fully cleared, but it’s not necessarily good news for him that he won’t be ready for the start of training camp. That could limit his chances to catch on with a club in time to be a Week 1 starter.

On the other hand, the 49ers are reportedly thrilled with Garoppolo’s progress which makes a lot of sense. They can keep him on the roster with no repercussions until mid-August, and he won’t be cleared to play so there won’t be any consternation in camp about his availability.

Getting a couple weeks into camp will give clubs time to assess their QB situations and perhaps open up a market for Garoppolo. It could lead to a trade that fetches the 49ers something at least semi-valuable. Injuries could also inflate that market.

If no such trade market develops, the 49ers can release Garoppolo. If they do so before he’s cleared, they’d owe him $7.5 million in injury guarantees that offsets with his next contract. By waiting until he can pass a physical though, the club can offer him his release without owing him additional money.