As the 49ers were in a tailspin Sunday, there was one expression that couldn’t be missed.
Jimmy Garoppolo’s beaming smile.
San Francisco was in disaster mode when the second half of their NFC Championship Game loss to the Eagles rolled around. They were playing Josh Johnson with Brock Purdy already injured, but then Johnson suffered a concussion. That left the 49ers without a healthy quarterback, with running back Christian McCaffrey and fullback Kyle Juszczyk effectively the only options.
The 49ers elected to send Purdy back out even though he was basically unable to throw. As those decisions were being sorted through on the 49ers sideline, cameras caught Garoppolo grinning from ear to ear.
Who knows what prompted the grin. When Purdy went back into the game, he was smiling in the huddle, so clearly there was some effort to keep things light. It’s not clear though whether Garoppolo was in on the joke or getting pleasure from the disaster. After all, Garoppolo only remained with the 49ers because of an inability to find a trade partner for him – even though the team suggested all offseason that he would be moved.
Whatever the case, 93.7 The Fan’s Andrew Fillipponi lambasted Garoppolo for his demeanor on Audacy’s “1st and Pod.”
"Garoppolo is such a prick,” Fillipponi said. “What an a–hole that guy is. I would’ve gone right up to his locker after the game if I was working in 49ers media and asked what the f–k were you laughing about on the sidelines? When your team is talking about putting the fullback in at quarterback, and you’re over there guffawing – …
Co-host Danny Parkins floated that maybe something funny was said over the headset. Fillipponi wasn't having it.
“No. No, no, no. No. There were multiple times. Screw that guy," Fillipponi responded. "I got the impression he was reveling in it, because I think he has some bad blood. Obviously Shanahan hates him, I don’t think it’s a one-way street. I think he was getting a kick out of it, a sadistic kick out of it.”
Garoppolo started 10 games for the 49ers this season after Trey Lance sustained a season-ending ankle injury in Week 2. Purdy then took over for Garoppolo after he broke his foot in Week 13. Garoppolo’s health was improving, as evidenced by the fact that he traveled with the team to Philly, and he was expected to possibly practice and back up Purdy had the 49ers made it to the Super Bowl.
That obviously won’t happen, and now Garoppolo is set to become a free agent this offseason.
The veteran quarterback did speak to at least one reporter after the game, telling NBC Sports Bay Area's Jennifer Lee Chan "I wish I had a helmet" as he exited the stadium.
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