Jimmy Garoppolo’s addition last season immediately turned around the fortunes of the San Francisco 49ers. Now the 49ers will have to go back to life before Garoppolo for the rest of the season.
The Niners announced Monday that Garoppolo tore the ACL in his left knee while making a cut late in a loss at Kansas City, sidelining him for the rest of the season.
“It is very unfortunate,” coach Kyle Shanahan said. “I’m not going to sugarcoat it. It was hard waking up today. We were down and disappointed about it because we were looking forward a lot to playing with Jimmy this year and going through the good and the bad knowing that he’d benefit from all of it. Now we don’t get to do it. I know Jimmy is really down about it and so are we but it’s still going to be all right.”
The injury deals a serious blow to the 49ers (1-2), who had planned their rebuild around Garoppolo and now must turn again to C.J. Beathard at quarterback.
Meantime, cornerback Richard Sherman will miss a couple of weeks with a strained left calf.
Garoppolo will undergo surgery in the next week or two after the swelling goes down and should be ready to play again next season. The 49ers are planning to promote Nick Mullens from the practice squad and also will bring several veterans in for tryouts this week, including Tom Savage, Kellen Clemens, possibly T.J. Yates and Matt Moore.
One quarterback who won’t be brought in is former 49ers starter Colin Kaepernick, who opted out of his contract with San Francisco in March 2017 after Shanahan decided he wanted to go with a style of offense that didn’t fit Kaepernick’s game.
The Niners struggled with Beathard and Brian Hoyer last season before the midseason addition of Garoppolo. San Francisco won the final five games last year after Garoppolo took over as starter and the team rewarded him with a $137.5 million, five-year contract.
Garoppolo had completed 59.6 percent of his passes with five TDs, three interceptions and an average of 8.1 yards per attempt for a 90 passer rating. While he hasn’t been quite as efficient as he was late last year after being acquired at the trade deadline from New England for a second-round pick, the Niners offense has been far more potent than it was before he took over as quarterback.
Pittsburgh 30, (at) Tampa Bay 27: Ben Roethlisberger threw for 353 yards and three touchdowns. Capping a tumultuous week in which star receiver Antonio Brown made headlines by shouting at an assistant coach on the sidelines and getting into a spat on social media, the Steelers (1-1-1) built a 20-point lead before holding on for their first win.
Vance McDonald scored on a 75-yard pass play and finished with four catches for 112 yards. Brown and Ryan Switzer also had first-half TD receptions for Pittsburgh, which led 30-10 at halftime.
The Steelers defense forced four turnovers, including three first-half interceptions of Ryan Fitzpatrick, the 35-year-old journeyman who threw for 819 yards and eight touchdowns in two victories to begin Tampa Bay’s season.
Fitzpatrick led his team to 17 fourth-quarter points to make it close.
Cards promote Rosen
Rookie Josh Rosen will take over as the Arizona Cardinals’ starting quarterback this Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks.
Rosen, the 10th overall pick in this year’s draft, replaced veteran Sam Bradford in Sunday’s 16-14 loss to the Chicago Bears with 4:31 left to play after three Arizona second-half possessions ended in turnovers.
Rosen couldn’t rally the Cardinals to a win, as he threw an interception to end his first drive and was sacked to end the second. But the rookie from UCLA completed four of seven passes for 36 yards and apparently showed coach Steve Wilks enough for him to make a change for the winless Cardinals (0-3).
“Josh plays with a lot of confidence. He gives us the opportunity to be successful,” Wilks said Monday. “When you look at the situation when he went into the game, I didn’t have a problem putting him in at that time because I know he’s very confident in what he’s doing.”
Mayfield’s the man
Baker Mayfield was named the Browns’ new starting QB — the 30th since the franchise’s rebirth in 1999 — on Monday, and the No. 1 overall pick will make his first start Sunday at Oakland.
As expected, coach Hue Jackson made the move to replace Tyrod Taylor with Mayfield after the high-profile rookie rallied the Browns to a 21-17 come-from-behind win Thursday night over the New York Jets — Cleveland’s first win since 2016.
Falcons starting safety Ricardo Allen will miss the remainder of the season with a torn left Achilles tendon, dealing another blow to Atlanta’s already injury-ravaged defense.
... Dolphins defensive end William Hayes will miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL he suffered trying to avoid a roughing-the-passer penalty.
... Dolphins DT Akeem Spence (former Lion) says he was trying to protect himself in a fight that led to his ejection for ripping off an opponent’s helmet.
... Green Bay defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson underwent surgery on his left ankle and will be lost for the season.
... Tommy McDonald, the small, speedy and sure-handed receiver who teamed with quarterback Norm Van Brocklin to help the Philadelphia Eagles win the 1960 NFL championship, has died. He was 84.