Can Jimmy Garoppolo recapture his 2017 form this season?


Fans, coaches, and players know Jimmy Garoppolo.

They know his strengths — the ones that were a big part of the Niners’ successes in 2019 and 2021, leading to a vocal group of fans calling for him to start before Trey Lance’s broken ankle.

They also know his weaknesses — the reasons Lance was starting in the first place.

There’s simply not much to be discovered about the 30-year-old quarterback. He is what he is. He’s good, but he’s not great.

Yet all week, I can’t shake a strange question:

What Jimmy G will the 49ers get for the rest of this season?

The Niners No. 10 has been, effectively, two quarterbacks since he arrived in San Francisco.

There was the Garoppolo we’ve come to know and expect since he signed what was once the NFL’s largest contract in the offseason before the 2018 season.

But what if Garoppolo could go back to being the quarterback that arrived in San Francisco midway through the 2017 season?

That Garoppolo was a freewheeler. He didn’t know the playbook — even the simplified one head coach Kyle Shanahan installed for him, so he pushed the ball all over the field, including deep.

That Garoppolo was fun. That Garoppolo brought the Niners organization back to life. The Niners could use that Garoppolo in 2022.


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