Even before the 2021 NFL draft, Jimmy Garoppolo has been on the sidelines since the 49ers swapped two additional first-round picks to advance to the quarterback.
The San Francisco defender admitted on Wednesday that the team was preparing for a playoff game with the Cowboys, adding that uncertainty had weighed on him all season.
“It’s always behind your mind,” Garoppolo said. “It’s been mine all season,” he said. I knew what season it was, I knew what was going on behind the scenes and what wasn’t. It was a little different. “
The 49ers chose Trey Lance of North Dakota with a third overall pick in the draft. Lens started just one full season at FCS school and has always been seen as a project, with Garoppolo announced as a starter long before the start of the season.
However, when the team takes the quarterback to the top like the 49ers, the guy in front of him always hears footsteps. There have been several calls to put Lens in the starting lineup, especially as Garoppolo struggled with points throughout the season.
Garoppolo finished the season strong, especially in the 18th week of the 49ers, winning over the Rams and taking them to the playoffs. He threw 316 yards in overtime to win and led the stunning final drivers who won after starting in a 17-0 hole.
These playoffs could be the end of Garoppolo’s march with the 49ers, which included a 2019 Super Bowl appearance. San Francisco will probably dominate Lens, replacing him in the offseason.
“You have to focus on that line because you don’t want to get too emotional in those moments,” Garoppolo said. “You have to go and play football when you come. But, of course, the human side plays a role. You’ll feel it a bit after the game.
“I think 24 hours later, you have to act fast. And we did it very well.”