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The San Francisco 49ers were without Jimmy Garoppolo for the third game this season when they fell to the Green Bay Packers on Thursday Night Football to open up Week 9. While Garoppolo is still expected to miss some extended time due to a high ankle sprain he re-aggravated back in Week 8 against the Seattle Seahawks, head coach Kyle Shanahan relayed on Friday that the 49ers quarterback will not require surgery. Because he won’t go under the knife, the possibility still remains that Garoppolo’s season isn’t totally lost. 

“Good news from the doctors is that they don’t believe that he needs, none of them are recommended surgery right now,” said Shanahan. “So, we’re going to not do anything for these four to six weeks. Rest it and then we’ll reevaluate in these four to six weeks and hopefully it heals up the way the doctors are anticipating and he’ll be good to go then and not need surgery.”

Garoppolo originally injured that ankle in Week 2 against the New York Jets. He missed San Francisco’s next two contests and returned in Week 5 against Miami, but was clearly still limited due to the injury and was benched in the second half of that matchup because of it. In that game, he finished with just 77 yards passing and two picks. 

Following that benching, the 29-year-old did seem to turn a corner in his next two games leading up to the re-injury against Seattle. Over that two-game stretch against the Rams and Patriots, Garoppolo completed over 74% of his passes and averaged 272.5 yards passing. He also had three touchdowns and two interceptions.

In Garoppolo’s absence, Nick Mullens got the start against Green Bay and struggled for the bulk of the night, despite finishing with 291 yards passing, one touchdown, and a pick. 

“No. It’s firmly Nick,” Shanahan said when asked on Friday what the immediate future may bring to the QB position and a possibly change away from Mullens. “As I’ve always kind of said, I feel real good with Nick and [QB] C.J. [Beathard]. They’re always pretty neck and neck for me, but I’m not going to just bounce them back and forth. So, something would have to happen to make a change. Nick wasn’t the reason that that happened last night.” 

The 49ers are now 4-5 on the season and will head to New Orleans to face the Saints in Week 10. 

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