National Football League

49ers Garoppolo Ahead of Schedule in Rehab of Injured Knee: Coach

Jimmy Garoppolo's rehab is right on schedule, or even ahead of it, 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan reaffirmed Wednesday at the NFL Scouting Combine.

The 49ers quarterback should be ready to participate in 7-on-7 drills during organized team activities in a couple of months.

Shanahan is not allowed to talk football with his quarterback, but he has been able to watch him work out on the practice field from his office window.

“I see him,” Shanahan said. “We don’t talk about football, but I see him. I see him out of my window every day. He does drops every day.

"Yeah, I know, I’m a stalker. But he’s been doing a good job.”

Shanahan didn’t want to be too specific about the details, because he didn’t want to say anything incorrect, but he was told the quarterback had a clean ACL tear, which makes Garoppolo’s recuperation less complicated.

“Everyone says they are ahead of schedule,” Shanahan said, “and he is. I mean he’s been healing great. He hasn’t had knee trouble before. It was a clean ACL, so it’s been real good for him.”

Garoppolo's position also makes him able to participate sooner than his fellow ACL rehabber, 49ers running back Jerick McKinnon.

“He’s also a quarterback, so when we get to OTAs, it will be 7-on-7s, so we don’t have to worry about people falling at his knees," Shanahan said. "So Jimmy will be able to practice a lot more than someone like Jet, who we have to be a little safer with, even though they might be at the same spot.

“We don’t want people to be falling into their legs, and that’s easier to control at quarterback than running back.”

Shanahan admits to observing his quarterback from afar but says it’s not on purpose, or scheduled. Coaching the Senior Bowl, preparing for the combine and teaching his playbook to the new members of his coaching staff has his hands full.

“I’m always in my office watching film,” Shanahan said. “He’s right out my window, and he’s rehabbing all the time. He’s met Shane Day, our new quarterbacks coach. Jimmy will stop by and say hi, and things like that. It’s nice to have him around, but it’s been pretty busy.”

Even though Garoppolo is on, or ahead, of schedule, Shanahan and his staff still will be careful with their franchise quarterback and not take any undue risks.

“I expect him back at OTAs throwing just because it should be that way,” Shanahan said, “and it’s not as big of a risk because it’s 7-on-7. If that was team pass, regardless, we probably wouldn’t put him in.”

If his rehab progresses without any issues, Garoppolo’s first 11-on-11s likely will not be until training camp, just as a precautionary measure, which still is good news for the team.

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