MONSTER’S MASH: Garoppolo’s returns home where his 49ers’ career really began

Bears Report

SANTA CLARA, CA – OCTOBER 24: San Francisco 49ers Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) throws a pass during the NFL football game between the Indianapolis Colts and San Francisco 49ers on October 24, 2021 at Levis Stadium in Santa Clara, CA. (Photo by Bob Kupbens/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

CHICAGO – There are always a few of these every season as an opposing player who great up in the Chicago area returns to face the Bears.

That is the case on Sunday as Jimmy Garoppolo leads the 49ers into Soldier Field in hopes of ending a four-game losing streak that’s derailed what looked like an encouraging 2-0 start.

But it also brings back a great moment for the Arlington Heights native and former Rolling Meadows High School and Eastern Illinois star. It was four years ago that Garoppolo made his first start as a member of the 49ers on December 3, 2017 not long after his trade from the Patriots.

On that day, the quarterback went 26-of-37 for 293 yards with an interception as former Bear Robbie Gould’s late field goal gave the 49ers a 15-14 win. That would be the start of quite a journey on the west coast from the native of the northwest suburbs that would play out over the next four years.

Garoppolo tore his ACL early in 2018 but rebounded in 2019 to help San Francisco to the NFC Championship, losing a tight battle with the Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV. But an ankle injury would limit him to six games in 2020, and this offseason the team drafted Trey Lance in the first round with the though that he would be Garoppolo’s successor.

It’s been quite a journey for the quarterback the last four years, and Larry Hawley featured that in this week’s “Monster’s Mash” notebook on “The 9-Yard Line” on WGN News Now. Watch that segment in the video above.

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