The San Francisco 49ers have confirmed quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo requires surgery for a broken foot, ruling him out of the season.
The 31-year old suffered the injury during the 49ers’ 33-17 win over the Miami Dolphins on Monday (all times AEDT) on the first drive when Miami linebackers Jerome Baker and Jaelan Phillips sacked Garoppolo.
San Francisco coach Kyle Shanahan confirmed in his post-match press conference Garoppolo would undergo season-ending foot surgery.
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It’s a savage blow for a 49ers team that’s already without Trey Lance (ankle), who was announced as the starting quarterback at the start of the season, leaving Brock Purdy as their only current healthy player in the position.
San Francisco’s defence played a key role in Monday’s win – its fifth in a row to improve to 8-4 – in restricting the Dolphins, while rookie Brock Purdy threw two touchdown passes after replacing Garoppolo.
Purdy finished 25-for-37 for 210 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.
It snapped a five-game winning streak for the Dolphins in coach Mike McDaniel’s first game against the 49ers after spending the last five years there as an assistant.
COMMANDERS, GIANTS TIE FOR KEY PLAYOFF IMPLICATIONS
We have a tie!
The Washington Commanders and New York Giants drew 20-20 in overtime, with both teams now at risk of missing the playoffs altogether.
Giants kicker Graham Gano missed a potential game-winning 58-yard field goal attempt as time expired in overtime to seal the result on Monday morning.
It came after Washington rallied late in regulation to force the extra period including clutch plays from quarterback Taylor Heinicke.
Heinicke threw two touchdown passes and a key fourth-down pass on a 90-yard touchdown drive to push the game into OT.
He was 27-of-41 for 275 yards with two touchdowns, while Giants counterpart Daniel Jones went 25-of-31 for 200 yards and one touchdown.
Washington raced out to a 10-0 lead at the end of the first quarter, but New York instantly responded in the second term to tie up the scores at half-time.
It made for a tight second half where neither side could get separation, culminating in the close finish.
The teams now hold the two final spots in the NFC playoff picture at 7-5-1 apiece behind the Philadelphia Eagles (11-1) and Dallas Cowboys (8-3).
WATSON BOOED IN BROWNS RETURN
Deshaun Watson was less than impressive in his return from an NFL suspension, but Cleveland’s defensive dominance saw him win his Browns debut 27-14 over the Houston Texans.
With playoff races heating up elsewhere, there was little riding on the contest in Houston.
But the first game in almost two years for quarterback Watson – who was suspended for 11 games after more than two dozen women accused him of sexual assault and inappropriate conduct during massage sessions – put the game in the spotlight.
Watson had already missed all of the 2021 season for the Texans before the Browns acquired him in a controversial trade.
On Monday he was booed by Houston fans on every snap and clearly showed the effects of his time off.
“I’ll just say I felt every one of those 700 days,” said Watson after the Browns offence generated just six points – on field goals from Cade York.
Donovan Peoples-Jones took a punt return 76 yards for a Cleveland touchdown, cornerback Denzel Ward had a four-yard fumble return for a touchdown, and linebacker Tony Fields returned an interception 16 yards for a TD to make up for the Browns’ lack of offensive production.
Philadelphia inched closer to a playoff berth with a 35-10 victory over the Tennessee Titans that took their league-best record to 11-1.
Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts threw for three touchdowns and ran for another, exiting the field to chants of “M-V-P!” Philadelphia wide receiver AJ Brown torched his former team with a game-high eight catches for 119 yards and two touchdowns.
The Minnesota Vikings produced more last-minute magic, sealing a 27-22 victory over the New York Jets on Camryn Bynum’s fourth-down goal line interception of Jets quarterback Mike White.
The Vikings’ 10th win of the season means they’ll have a chance to clinch the NFC North title with a win at Detroit next week.
Minnesota quarterback Kirk Cousins connected on 21 of 35 passes for 173 yards and a touchdown to Justin Jefferson with 8:33 to play that proved enough to win the game.
AFC North leaders Baltimore saw quarterback Lamar Jackson limp off with a knee injury in the first quarter, but with backup Tyler Huntley at the helm edged the Denver Broncos 10-9.
Huntley capped a 91-yard drive with a two-yard touchdown run with 28 seconds remaining to seize the win, and in more good news after the game the Ravens announced that the injury to Jackson, the 2019 NFL Most Valuable Player, was not expected to end his season.
In Chicago, banged-up Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers extended his dominance of the Bears, rallying the Packers to a milestone 29-19 victory.
Rodgers’ 25th career win over the Bears was the Packers 787th regular-season triumph – moving them past the Bears to the top of the NFL’s all-time list.
The Bears had held sway as the league’s winningest team for more than 100 games. Packers rookie wide receiver Christian Watson had a touchdown catch in the first half and a 46-yard scoring run late in the fourth to help seal the victory after the Packers erased a 19-10 third-quarter deficit.
In the other early game, the Pittsburgh Steelers used a strong ground game in a 19-16 victory over the Falcons in Atlanta.
STEELERS 19 FALCONS 16
PACKERS 28 BEARS 19
JAGUARS 14 LIONS 40
JETS 22 VIKINGS 27
COMMANDERS 20 GIANTS 20
TITANS 10 EAGLES 35
BRONCOS 9 RAVENS 10
BROWNS 27 TEXANS 14
SEAHAWKS 27 RAMS 23
DOLPHINS 17 49ERS 33
CHIEFS 24 BENGALS 27
CHARGERS – RAIDERS