49ers' Jimmy Garoppolo tore his ACL, out for season - now what?

The worst fears of all San Francisco 49ers fans were confirmed on Monday: quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo has been lost for the remainder of the season after tearing the ACL in his left knee on Sunday.

The team confirmed the news on Twitter on Monday afternoon.

The 49ers made Garoppolo the highest-paid player in NFL history in February (though the title didn’t remain his for very long) on the strength of his five starts with the team in 2017. And while San Francisco is just 1-2 this year after losing in Kansas City, he’d imbued the franchise and its followers with tremendous hope.

All of that is on pause now.

What now for the Niners?

Without Garoppolo, the Niners will likely turn to second-year backup C.J. Beathard, at least for the short term. A third-round pick out of Iowa in 2017, Beathard already has some experience as a starter, leading the 49ers for five games last season after an injury to veteran Brian Hoyer.

San Francisco was 1-4 in his five starts.

See Garoppolo through those games: 

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Jimmy Garoppolo with the San Francisco 49ers
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Jimmy Garoppolo with the San Francisco 49ers
SANTA CLARA, CA - NOVEMBER 05: San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) warms up before the regular season game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Arizona Cardinals on November 5, 2017 at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, CA (Photo by Samuel Stringer/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CA - NOVEMBER 05: Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers warms up prior to their game against the Arizona Cardinals at Levi's Stadium on November 5, 2017 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CA - NOVEMBER 05: Jimmy Garoppolo #10 and Carlos Hyde #28 of the San Francisco 49ers warms up before the game against the Arizona Cardinals at Levi's Stadium on November 5, 2017 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CA - NOVEMBER 05: Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers warms up before the game against the Arizona Cardinals at Levi's Stadium on November 5, 2017 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CA - NOVEMBER 05: San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) looks on during an NFL game between the Arizona Cardinals and the San Francisco 49ers on November 5, 2017 at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, CA. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CA - NOVEMBER 05: San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) looks on from the sidelines during an NFL game between the Arizona Cardinals and the San Francisco 49ers on November 5, 2017 at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, CA. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CA - NOVEMBER 05: San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) walks back to the locker room during an NFL game between the Arizona Cardinals and the San Francisco 49ers on November 5, 2017 at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, CA. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CA - NOVEMBER 5: Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers looks over plays on his wristband in the locker room prior to the game against the Arizona Cardinals at Levi's Stadium on November 5, 2017 in Santa Clara, California. The Cardinals defeated the 49ers 20-10. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CA - NOVEMBER 05: San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) warms up with the football prior to the start of an NFL game between the Arizona Cardinals and the San Francisco 49ers on November 5, 2017 at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, CA. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CA - NOVEMBER 05: San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) warms up with the football on the sidelines during an NFL game between the Arizona Cardinals and the San Francisco 49ers on November 5, 2017 at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, CA. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CA - NOVEMBER 26: Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers enters the game late in the fourth quarter against the Seattle Seahawks at Levi's Stadium on November 26, 2017 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CA - NOVEMBER 26: Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers in action against the Seattle Seahawks at Levi's Stadium on November 26, 2017 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CA - NOVEMBER 26: Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers drops back to pass against the Seattle Seahawks late in their NFL football game at Levi's Stadium on November 26, 2017 in Santa Clara, California. The Seahawks won the game 24-13. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
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The win was against the New York Giants on Nov. 12, and Beathard had by far his best game, completing three-quarters of his 25 pass attempts for 288 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.

Beathard told reporters on Sunday that he told Garoppolo he was praying for his teammate’s health; Garoppolo told Beathard “to lead these guys.”

The 6-foot-2 Beathard is a grandson of Bobby Beathard, the longtime former NFL general manager who was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in August.

What now for Garoppolo?

As of this writing, there’s no indication that Garoppolo had any damage beyond his ACL, like to his MCL or LCL. With an MCL tear, the typical plan is to let the MCL heal – it doesn’t require surgery – and about a month later comes the reconstruction for the ACL. Eagles’ quarterback Carson Wentz tore his LCL (lateral collateral ligament) in addition to his ACL last December, which added some time to his recovery.

Assuming Garoppolo’s damage is limited to his ACL and he doesn’t have any setbacks like an infection (as former teammate Tom Brady had after his 2008 ACL surgery), he should be good to go for training camp next year.

See how Garoppolo suffered the injury: 

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Jimmy Garoppolo suffers knee injury
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Jimmy Garoppolo suffers knee injury
KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 23: Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers rushes plants on his left leg at the sideline on a play in which he would be injured during the fourth quarter of the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium on September 23rd, 2018 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images)
KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 23: Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers rushes plants on his left leg at the sideline on a play in which he would be injured during the fourth quarter of the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium on September 23rd, 2018 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images)
KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 23: Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers rushes plants on his left leg at the sideline on a play in which he would be injured during the fourth quarter of the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium on September 23rd, 2018 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images)
Sep 23, 2018; Kansas City, MO, USA; San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle (85) attends to quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) in the second half against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 23: Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers lays on his back on the sideline after being injured on the play during the fourth quarter of the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium on September 23rd, 2018 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images)
KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 23: Head coach Kyle Shanahan of the San Francisco 49ers and the team training staff examine quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo #10 on the sideline after being hurt on a play during the fourth quarter of the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium on September 23rd, 2018 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images)
KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 23: Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers is carted off the field after an injury during the fourth quarter of the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium on September 23rd, 2018 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images)
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Though San Francisco is 1-2, Garoppolo has been playing well, particularly the last two weeks. After a bad showing in Week 1 against Minnesota, when he threw three interceptions, he had two passing touchdowns in each of the last two games, with no picks, and his completion percentage went up considerably over that outing against the Vikings.

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