What Jimmy Garoppolo’s potential return means for the 49ers’ difficult IR situation

What Jimmy Garoppolo’s potential return means for the 49ers’ difficult IR situation

Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo might not go on injured reserve after all.

The 49ers have already brought six players off the injured reserve list this season. Teams can activate a maximum of eight players during the IR season.

San Francisco is keeping the door open for the possible returns of running back Elijah Mitchell and defensive back Javon Kinlaw, both of whom are on injured reserve with knee conditions. Coach Kyle Shanahan said as recently as Sunday that quarterback Trey Lance is unlikely to return from injured reserve this season.

Garoppolo he will not need surgery when he broke his left foot, ESPN reported Tuesday. The timeline for Garoppolo’s return was put at seven to eight weeks.

Sunday’s Playoff Series would be seven weeks after Garoppolo suffered the injury. The NFC and AFC championship games are eight weeks away on January 29th. And the Super Bowl is 10 weeks away.

The 49ers would need to make the playoffs for Mitchell to return to action and contribute. He suffered a sprained MCL in his left knee on Nov. 27 and is expected to be sidelined for six to eight weeks.

The team has been much more subdued since Kinlaw’s return. Kinlaw hasn’t played since Week 3, though Shanahan said last week that Kinlaw is “close” to a return.

The 49ers are no slouch for roster spots.

the team Signed backup quarterback Josh Johnson to the Denver Broncos’ practice squad on Sunday. Mitchell took a spot on the 53-man roster that opened on injured reserve.

The move to 16 players in league practice gives teams plenty of options for practice as well.

RELATED: Mayfield was claimed by the rival Rams amid 49ers QB speculation

If Mitchell returns to action, he will take over two of the team’s eight return spots.

The 49ers have already activated Mitchell, free safety Jimmie Ward, linebacker Curtis Robinson, offensive lineman Colton McKivitz, defensive end Jordan Willis and linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair off IR this offseason.

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