Jimmy Garoppolo's first game back since tearing his ACL last season went miserably. About as miserable as it can go in a preseason game.
Garoppolo threw an interception on his second pass of the game. His first four throws were all touched by Denver Broncos defenders, either tipped, picked or almost picked. He finished 1-of-6 passing on three drives Monday night, his lone completion going for a zero-yard gain.
Garoppolo finished his night with an infamous 0.0 passer rating.
"Obviously a little frustrated but it's the NFL," Garoppolo said, via NBC Sports Bay Area. "Unfortunately, we don't get to play the whole game right now so I only get so many plays. You wish you could be out there for more so we could bounce back. But it is what it is. It's preseason right now, so we just have to take it in stride."
The 27-year-old has just 10 starts in five seasons of pro work. After a scorching end to the 2017 campaign after coming to San Francisco via trade with the New England Patriots, Garoppolo's 2018 lasted just three games before he suffered the ACL tear. His return didn't go as planned. His performance suggested the five consecutive interceptions day at practice wasn't a fluke. On the plus side, after getting hit for the first time since Sept. 23, Garoppolo came through healthy.
"It's something that I haven't done in a year obviously, so I've got to knock the rust off and everything," Garoppolo said. "Thankfully we have a short week this week so we can bounce back quickly, but it's the first step of getting back into it."
Garoppolo looked uncomfortable in the pocket, didn't step up in the face of pressure on certain throws, and genuinely looked discombobulated in his three series.
"Anytime you can't get an offensive rhythm, everyone looks that way," coach Kyle Shanahan said. "We didn't get anyone in rhythm. I wish we could have gotten him in a rhythm. It was very hard to pull him off on the third series because we wanted to go one and two series. One and two good series."
Shanahan said even if the box score suggests a nightmarish day, it was good to simply have the starting quarterback back on the field.
"Yeah, of course," Shanahan said. "He's had a year off football, and before that he only played about eight games total. The more he can play, the better. I wish we could have kept him out there longer today but you risk everyone else too, so I had to get those guys out of there."
After a shaky return, Jimmy G should see more action in the team's third preseason tilt. Hopefully, it goes better than his debut.