Well, the Vikings May Run into Jimmy Garoppolo After All

During Week 13, Jimmy Garoppolo suffered an injury that was described as a season-ending broken foot in the San Francisco 49ers 33-16 win over the Miami Dolphins. In his stead, “Mr. Irrelevant” of the 2022 NFL Draft class, Brock Purdy, stepped in as his replacement.

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It seems that Purdy will be the starter for the remainder of the regular season, but if the 49ers, who currently sit at 8-4, make the playoffs, the Vikings may run into Jimmy Garoppolo come playoff time.

As it turns out, Garoppolo did not suffer a Lisfranc injury, which was what the initial reports suggested. Because of that, it significantly reduces the 49ers starting QB’s recovery time. Rather than the rest of the season, there’s a chance that he could only need 7-8 weeks in order to regain full health.

Seven weeks from now, the Divisional round of the playoffs is set to kick off. Currently, the most likely scenario in the NFC is that the Vikings will meet these 49ers during that game.

Of course, it was Garoppolo and these 49ers that ended the Vikings most recent playoff run in the 2019 season. That was once again a Divisional round game, but that game was played in San Francisco as opposed to what would likely be a U.S. Bank Stadium in 2022. The Vikings lost that 2019 playoff game 27-10.

However, it was less about Garoppolo’s arm as much as it was the 49ers running game. Garoppolo threw just 19 times, completing only 11 passes for 131 yards, a touchdown, and an interception. Meanwhile, the Niners rushed 47 times for 186 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

Those 49ers also went on to crush the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship Game, 37-20, before losing in the Super Bowl to the Kansas City Chiefs by a score of 31-20. In that game, San Francisco jumped out to an early lead before the Chiefs came storming back with 21 unanswered points in the fourth quarter.

Jan 11, 2020; Santa Clara, California, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) throws a pass against the Minnesota Vikings in the first quarter in a NFC Divisional Round playoff football game at Levi’s Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Since that 2019 game, the 49ers have played the Vikings one other time. That game came in Week 12 of the 2021 regular season, again in San Francisco. The Niners won that game 34-26, and Garoppolo passed for 230 yards, a touchdown, and an interception. Jimmy G is now 2-1 against the Vikings in his career.

Overall, regardless of who is at QB, the 49ers will be a tough team for any team to handle. Their skill group with Brandon Aiyuk, George Kittle, Christian McCaffrey, and Deebo Samuel is unmatched by any team in the NFL. They have a strong offensive line with Trent Williams leading the way at left tackle. Their defense has stars at all three levels.

That being said, there’s a major difference between a QB that has been to a Super Bowl and a seventh-round rookie, who was selected with the final pick in the draft, when trying to go on another playoff run. If Garoppolo comes back in time for a potential playoff rematch with Kirk Cousins and the Vikings, that game only gets tougher than it already would have been.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho with a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing. He also earned minors in History, Human Biology, and Journalism. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys marathon training, playing video games, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. For more of his opinions, check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.

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