mercurynews.com photo: San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo tunes up at practice on Tuesday, Aug. 6th is expected to see some action on Monday Night Football Aug. 19th in Denver after sitting out last Saturday.
By Jeremy Harness
SANTA CLARA — Either the defense had a lights-out practice, or quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo had one of the worst in recent memory.
Garoppolo’s return from and ACL tear he suffered last September has been rather low-key up to this point, but during Thursday’s practice against the starting defense, he was a victim of Murphy’s Law.
To this point, 49ers fans are hoping that this is just a part of getting all the kinks out before the regular season starts and not part of any long-term issue. At one point in the live scrimmage, Garoppolo threw five straight interceptions.
Yes, you read that right. Five.
Now if there is a positive to take out of this, it’s that the starting defense is starting to show its teeth, something that did not happen very often during a 2018 campaign that saw the team finish near the bottom in takeaways.
The defense is a bit short-handed, as Dee Ford has been dealing with knee tendinitis but is expected to return next week, per reports. Meanwhile, top draft pick Nick Bosa suffered a high ankle sprain and will miss the entire preseason, and his status for Week 1 is in doubt because of it.
Simply put, the 49ers will need to improve on defense this season if they are going to contend for a playoff spot in a very tough NFC. Another positive sign came last Saturday, when the mostly second-string defense held the Dallas Cowboys’ offensive starters to a field goal after being backed up inside their own 10-yard line.
The 49ers will hold joint practices with the Denver Broncos on Friday and Saturday before they square off for a preseason game.