With 11 minutes, 22 seconds left in the opening quarter, Dolphins linebacker Jerome Baker and end Jaelan Phillips converged on Garoppolo for a sack. Garoppolo attempted to keep his momentum moving forward, and his left foot got caught under Phillips as he was taken down.
Garoppolo slowly hobbled to the sideline and eventually made his way into the blue medical tent before a cart came out to take him to the locker room for further evaluation. Garoppolo’s return was initially ruled as questionable, but he was ruled out with 8:39 left in the second quarter.
Rookie Brock Purdy replaced Garoppolo and threw his first NFL touchdown pass on his first drive, hitting fullback Kyle Juszczyk for a 4-yard score. Purdy finished 25-of-37 passing for 210 yards with a touchdown and interception, helping the 49ers defeat the Dolphins.
Garoppolo’s injury is the second to a Niners starting quarterback this season. Trey Lance suffered a right fibula fracture in a Sept. 18 victory over the Seattle Seahawks that landed him on injured reserve. Garoppolo has started every game since Lance’s injury, and the Niners had gone 6-3 in his nine starts entering Sunday.
The 49ers are signing quarterback Josh Johnson off the Denver Broncos‘ practice squad and onto their 53-man roster, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter. This will be Johnson’s third stint with the 49ers.
It’s the latest in a lengthy list of injuries Garoppolo has dealt with since his arrival in San Francisco in 2017. He tore his left ACL in 2018, had a pair of high right ankle sprains in 2020 and dealt with a fractured right thumb and sprained right shoulder in 2021.
Purdy was “Mr. Irrelevant” in the 2022 NFL draft as the Niners used the 262nd and final pick on him. Before Sunday, he had appeared in mop-up duty in three games, going 4-of-9 for 66 yards and an interception against the Kansas City Chiefs on Oct. 23.