San Francisco 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said Friday that quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is questionable to play with a thumb injury on his throwing hand, leaving a cloud of uncertainty hanging above a must-win game for a club seeking to grab the last available playoff spot in the NFC. The 49ers (9-7) visit the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday and can claim a wild-card berth with a win or tie, or with a New Orleans Saints loss to the Atlanta Falcons.
Shanahan declined to name a starter, but said both Garoppolo and rookie Trey Lance have looked good in practice.
"I know what we're doing, I just don't feel like telling you right now," Shanahan said.
Garoppolo has been limited this week, however, after injuring his thumb in a Week 16 loss to the Tennessee Titans. He is expected to have surgery on it after the season. Lance got his second career start in place of Garoppolo on Sunday, and responded with an impressive second half to lead a 23-7 win over the Houston Texans.
Garoppolo has completed 278 of 409 passes on the year for 3,494 yards, 19 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Shanahan has been steadfast since the preseason that Garoppolo is the 49ers' best option at quarterback, despite the team investing the No. 3 overall pick of the draft in Lance.
Also questionable to play is 49ers left tackle Trent Williams, who is among the game's top offensive linemen. Williams has an elbow injury and was withheld from practice all week. Given the Rams' collection of talented pass rushers, Williams' potential absence could weigh heavily on the 49ers' offensive efficiency.