During the first hal of Sunday’s game, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo took a hit to his surgically-repaired left knee. Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Kenny Clark didn’t appear to be trying anything dirty but fell right into the knee, which buckled awkwardly.
Here’s video of the hit, which could have ended very badly for Garoppolo.
Jimmy Garoppolo's knee brace saved him big time here. pic.twitter.com/jGtkZAjOYg— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) January 20, 2020
After this hit by Clark, Garoppolo was clearly in some pain and wasn’t quite as mobile, and the 49ers almost completely abandoned the passing game at that point. In fact, Garoppolo set a conference championship game record by attempting only eight passes.
Following San Francisco’s big win over Green Bay, Garoppolo opened up and admitted the hit was a frightening experience: “Yeah, scary moment,” Garoppolo said after the game, per Matt Barrows of The Athletic. “But the brace held up again. Knock on wood.”
Considering Garoppolo’s first full campaign with the 49ers in 2018 was defined by a season-ending ACL tear, it’s not surprising he was scared his knee would be hurt again. That’s why the brace is there in the first place, however, and it figures to be a part of Garoppolo’s uniform the rest of his career.