In the full knowledge that the phrase “exit news from training camp” is the most foolish thing to say, the news from the San Francisco 49ers training camp is as good as it has been all year. Zach Wilson injured his knee in a slap and tickle Friday night with the Philadelphia Eagles and Will miss about a month.
That’s always the only real news in any training camp – who got hurt and how bad it was. Oh, people like to pretend they can see trends and developments in every minute detail, but they’re mostly filled with what the neighbor’s cat dropped in your pool. Anyone who tells you they learn things from gallery games are people you don’t want to get drunk with, even if they’re the ones with the tab open.
As for the Jets and 49ers, let’s put it this way. After a quiet period of respect for the Jets’ midfield loss, San Francisco General Manager/Shanahanian de Camp assistant John Lynch was on the verge of 1-800-JOE-DOUGLAS to introduce Jimmy Garoppolo as the new replacement for Joe Flacco. The selling point would be, “Robert Saleh has been working for us, and he’ll tell you what a bloated guy Jimmy is, plus you need him more than you need the third-round pick we’re going to buy from you.” It is a kismet.
It’s also a bit of a lie, as the real selling point is, “We’ve been trying to move this guy since he’s recovered from shoulder surgery because we think it’s based on almost no evidence that Trey Lance is our future, either in victory or in stigma. You can’t. Getting that sixth win is out of the way with Flacco, or frankly with Wilson too. We’re your ticket to 6-11 — now let’s talk to us about some turkey.”
This is the boot camp – unexplained optimism, train cars full of frothy bullshit and bullshit talk with brief episodes of catastrophic injuries. Wilson’s knee isn’t disastrous (described as a noncontact bone contusion and meniscus tear), as he’s expected to miss no more than one game unless he decides to rehab through motocross, but that doesn’t mean Lynch isn’t burning with a flame of optimism. Garoppolo has been immutable since his shoulder surgery in March, and story in San Francisco Chronicle This week Garoppolo’s relationship with Midnight Oil is fleeting at best suggesting that desperation may have turned eccentric. Not that “Hey, who wants an absent quarterback?” It’s a great selling point, but it does indicate that the 49ers are getting a little nervous. Sure they can cut Garoppolo before they pay him, but that’s the accountant’s fantasy; The plan was to get something in return, whether it was a human, a future human, or a conceptual human.
Thus, Zach Wilson. And if not Zach Wilson, the next guy to turn left when you want his knee to turn right. There will be others, no matter how hard coaches try not to play important players in games that mean nothing but nonsense TV. Hell, the relegated quarterback is probably Lance, and then the 49ers can talk to themselves about Garoppolo. After all, they sold him as the man who took the team to the Super Bowl and the NFC Title game even though common wisdom is that the 49ers did so more with defense and ball control. Who knows its value better than the people who value it?
Anyway, there’s game tonight (Vikings-Raiders and Vikings can’t lose Kirk Cousins tonight because he has COVID) and 32 more after that, and Shanahan and Lynch live in the hope of someone else’s desperation. And here’s the news from the training camp – waiting for someone’s crap to happen.
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