Image Credit: Andrew Giesemann
Camp Jimmy and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Week
The 2020 offseason has been a weird time for the entire league. COVID-19 has teams on lockdown and does not allow players to be at team facilities for Organized Team Activities (OTAs) as they normally would around this time of year. This has led to certain players stepping up and organizing their own workouts among teammates to be prepared if the 2020 season happens. For the San Francisco 49ers, quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo rallied many teammates to join him in Nashville, TN. And “Camp Jimmy,” as it has been dubbed, was an unmitigated disaster.
Sophomore wide receiver Deebo Samuel suffered a Jones fracture in his foot while running routes with his teammates. And while Samuel sounded optimistic, this injury should be a heightened concern for 49ers fans. During training camp last year, WR Trent Taylor endured a similar injury that resulted in five total surgeries and a lost season for a player that was on the cusp of a breakout year. Samuel has already gone through the surgery and is in recovery mode which he said would be approximately 10 weeks. However, many experts believe the recovery time could be longer than that, especially if he rushes back too early.
Samuel was not the only player who came away from Camp Jimmy worse for wear. WR/KR Richie James Jr. broke his right wrist the following day. This will keep James on the sideline for the next two months and could very well cost him a roster spot in a very crowded wide receiver room. The advantages that James had as a returning player familiar with both the system and Garoppolo could all be washed away with his time on the sideline.
Bad news comes in threes and the 49ers are no exception. Not only do they leave Nashville down a pair of wide receivers, one of the players in attendance was reported to have tested positive for COVID-19. This prompted the entire group to undergo a test for the virus and immediately ended all the group workouts together. Due to HIPAA privacy rules, the identity of the player who tested positive will not be released to the public, but the player will quarantine for the mandatory two weeks.
Despite all this bad news, even the darkest clouds have a silver lining and there were a few for the 49ers to take away from this. Tight end George Kittle was in attendance working with teammates and does not appear to want to hold out with a new mega-contract on the horizon. Third-year WR Dante Pettis was also present and putting in the time after a major sophomore slump last season as the former second-round pick is now fighting for a roster spot. And probably the best to come out of this were rookie receivers Brandon Aiyuk and Jauan Jennings, who were able to get reps with the quarterbacks and gain some familiarity with the offensive scheme. With the multiple injuries, they could be counted on to produce sooner than they may have thought.
The offseason programs can only go up from here, right?
You can follow Matt on Twitter here!
Stay tuned to 49ersHub for more great 49ers coverage and analysis!