Jimmy Garoppolo back as 49ers starter after Trey Lance’s season-ending injury


In a cruel bit of I-told-you-so fate, Kyle Shanahan can feel good about the controversial decision to backstop Trey Lance with Jimmy Garoppolo three weeks ago. Because Lance’s first season as a starter lasted exactly 73 minutes, and now, again, this franchise will go as far as Garoppolo will take it.

Lance will undergo surgery to repair a broken ankle and possible further damage to his right leg today in California. It’s highly likely he’ll be out till the 2023 offseason.

“I’m sorry,” is about all Shanahan could figure to say by the time he got to the injured Lance late in the first quarter against Seattle in Santa Clara. “You were playing your ass off.”

Ninety minutes after the game, Shanahan, driving home, tried to be pragmatic about the constant in the 49ers’ world since Shanahan and GM John Lynch took over in 2017. “Four of our six years here we’ve lost the starting quarterback to injury,” he said. “I mean, you just deal with it. You’ve got to. Our team really loves Trey. But these guys, they plan on winning games regardless of the obstacles.

“We’ll be somber Monday morning, but this league doesn’t wait for anybody. It’s unbelievable, really, what’s happened here. We’ve only played two years without a major quarterback injury. But really, this is the first time we’ve had a really good Plan B. It’s a long time since this franchise had a quarterback situation like this one, with two guys we know can win — probably back to Joe Montana and Steve Young. I’m not comparing these guys to Joe and Steve, but I’m talking about going into games now knowing we’ve still got a great chance.”

As much as Shanahan didn’t want to just move on, he knows he’s got to. Garoppolo, playing for the first time since January and since spring shoulder surgery, was an effective 13 of 21 for 154 yards, with a TD and no turnovers. The Niners entered the day 3-17 against Seattle in their last 20 meetings; Garoppolo piloted the team to a 24-7 edge over Seattle in his 47 minutes of play. He started five of five for 80 yards, including a zipped 38-yard TD to tight end Ross Dwelley. Garoppolo’s a metronome: You know exactly what you’re getting with him, and if the Niners can stay relatively healthy on defense, they should be able to be strong playoff contenders again — even after the crushing news of Sunday.

At 1-1, San Francisco has a chance to gain ground on the division in the next month. They’re at Denver, home to the mysterious Rams, at 0-2 Carolina, at 0-2 Atlanta. Then the schedule gets tough.

As for Lance, the reversal of fortune is shocking, after an offseason of debate about whether he’s ready to be The Man for a playoff team. And he’ll enter 2023 mostly the same way he entered 2022: with tremendous uncertainty. After starting one college season (at the mid-major level, at North Dakota State), he’ll have made four NFL starts in two seasons. Shanahan will profess confidence in him, and it’s likely he’ll believe it. But Lance will still be a major question mark, and as for who will backstop him then…that’s too far in the future to matter this morning. What matters now is a road trip this week to Denver, when another team won’t care about San Francisco’s woes. In the NFL, that’s cruel reality. Next man up. Veteran man up, in this case.

Read more in Peter King’s full Football Morning in America column

NFL quarterback rankings 2023: Chris Simms’ top 40 QB countdown ahead of upcoming NFL season


While the NFL is a league that is ever-changing, some things are set to stay the same in 2023 — like the revealing of Chris Simms’ top 40 QB countdown.

Last year’s list saw Josh Allen take his place atop the quarterback throne, with Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes and Los Angeles’ Justin Herbert not far behind at No. 2 and No. 3, respectively. It was, however, Mahomes who would ultimately reign over all NFL quarterbacks at the end of the season, as the 27-year-old collected both the NFL MVP honors and his second Lombardi Trophy.

This NFL offseason, however, has brought some intriguing adjustments that are likely to shake up Simms’ rankings.

While some signal-callers such as Jalen Hurts and Lamar Jackson found their prolonged home with massive contract signings, others will be venturing to a new franchise in search of a fresh start. Aaron Rodgers‘ trade to the New York Jets is unquestionably the most staggering shift, but other quarterbacks on the move such as Derek Carr and Jimmy Garoppolo cannot be forgotten.

RELATED: Mike Florio gives an inside look into the Lamar Jackson deal

And with three of the first four picks in the 2023 NFL Draft being spent on a quarterback, emerging talent will likely turn the tides for some franchises this upcoming season.

See below for Chris Simms’ top 40 QB countdown ahead of the upcoming season. Be sure to subscribe to Chris Simms Unbuttoned for more on the 2023 NFL season as well as an unfiltered look at the NFL featuring player access, unabashed opinion, X&O film breakdown and stories from a life in and around football.

RELATED: Peter King’s latest offseason NFL power rankings

Chris Simms’ 2023 Top 40 QB Countdown:

40. Desmond Ridder (ATL)

39. Sam Howell (WAS)

38. Bryce Young (CAR)

37. CJ Stroud (HOU)

36. Anthony Richardson (IND)

35. Mike White (MIA)

34. Gardner Minshew (IND)

33. Taylor Heinicke (ATL)

32. Jarrett Stidham (DEN)

31. Jordan Love (GB)

30. Davis Mills (HOU)

29. Tyler Huntley (BAL)

28. Andy Dalton (CAR)

27. Sam Darnold (SF)

26. Brock Purdy (SF)

25. Kenny Pickett (PIT)

24. Baker Mayfield (TB)

23. Justin Fields (CHI)

22. Jimmy Garoppolo (LV)

21. Tua Tagovailoa (MIA)

20. Mac Jones (NE)

19. Kyler Murray (AZ)

18. Derek Carr (NO)

17. Jared Goff (DET)

16. Ryan Tannehill (TEN)

15. Geno Smith (SEA)

14. Russell Wilson (DEN)

13. Dak Prescott (DAL)

12. Kirk Cousins (MIN)

11. Daniel Jones (NYG)

10. Matthew Stafford (LAR)

9. Deshaun Watson (CLE)

8. Aaron Rodgers (NYJ)

7. Jalen Hurts (PHI)

6. Trevor Lawrence (JAX)

5. Lamar Jackson (BAL)

4. Justin Herbert (LAC)

3. Josh Allen (BUF)

2. Joe Burrow (CLE)

1. Patrick Mahomes (KC)

2023 NFL Schedule Release: Start time, how to watch, live stream, channel


With another exciting NFL Draft in the books, teams can now turn their gaze toward the road to Super Bowl LVIII in Las Vegas. The path to Super Bowl glory, however, is about to become abundantly more clear with the 2023 NFL season schedule release.

This year’s NFL season schedule release is nearly here, with the entirety of the 2023 NFL schedule being unveiled on Thursday, May 11 at 8 p.m. ET on both Peacock and NFL Network. See below for everything you need to know for one of the offseason’s most anticipated events.

RELATED: Click here for full analysis on Rounds 1-7 of the 2023 NFL Draft

When will the 2023 NFL season schedule be released?

While all 272 matchups have been known since the conclusion of the 2022 regular season, the order and dates for these games have remained a mystery. The secret is nearly out, however, with every NFL game on the brink of revelation.

The full 2023 NFL schedule will be released on Thursday, May 11 at 8:00 p.m. ET.

How can I watch the 2023 NFL season schedule release?

The 2023 NFL season schedule release will take place Thursday, May 11 on Peacock, NFL Network, NFL.com and the NFL app at 8 p.m. ET.

While the entirety of the schedule will be unveiled at that time, select games have already been and will continue to be released prior to the official event. Ahead of the 2023 NFL season schedule release, the following games will be announced:

Who will play in the 2023 NFL Kickoff game?

The first game of the 2023-24 NFL season will see the reigning Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs take the field in Arrowhead Stadium.

The opponent that will meet Patrick Mahomes and company in Kansas City, however, remains to be revealed.

Which NFL teams have international games in 2023?

While the majority of the matchups set to take place next season have yet to be announced, the league has already revealed which teams will head overseas for international showdowns.

Below is the full list of international NFL games for the 2023-24 season, with three in London, U.K., and two in Frankfurt, Germany.

Falcons vs. Jaguars: Week 4, Oct. 1 at 9:30 a.m. ET | Wembley Stadium in London, U.K.

Jaguars vs. Bills: Week 5, Oct. 8 at 9:30 a.m. ET | Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, U.K.

Ravens vs. Titans: Week 6, Oct. 15 at 9:30 a.m. ET | Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, U.K.

Dolphins vs. Chiefs: Week 9, Nov. 5 at 9:30 a.m. ET | Frankfurt Stadium in Frankfurt, Germany

Colts vs. Patriots: Week 10, Nov. 12 at 9:30 a.m. ET | Frankfurt Stadium in Frankfurt, Germany

RELATED: NFL’s 2023 international games full of “star power”

When is the Super Bowl and where will it be taking place?

Stars will be shining bright in Las Vegas, Nevada, for Super Bowl LVIII, set to take place on Feb. 11, 2024, at the home of the Raiders in Allegiant Stadium.

This will be the first Super Bowl to ever take place in Las Vegas, which hosted the 2023 Pro Bowl and 2022 NFL Draft.

Be sure to follow ProFootballTalk for the latest news, updates, and storylines about the upcoming NFL season!