Jimmy Garoppolo’s ex-teammates upset over how he handled injury

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo was the subject of trade talks until his decision to undergo shoulder surgery in early March put those discussions on pause, largely to the surprise of the 49ers. The quarterback has yet to return to throwing, and this isn’t the first time Garoppolo’s handling of an injury reportedly blindsided his team.

In October of last year, former Patriots tight end Martellus Bennett blasted Garoppolo for how he dealt with an injury in 2016, when the quarterback was filling in for a suspended Tom Brady in New England. “He decided not to play right before the game.” Bennett recounted about an early-season loss.  “Jacoby [Brissett] came out and played with a f—ked up thumb and played his heart out, but Jimmy was just being a bitch about it all.”

Julian Edelman was New England’s top receiver in the few games Garoppolo saw action. The Bay Area native was asked about Bennett’s criticism on Chad Johnson and Brandon Marshall’s “I Am Athlete” podcast in an episode released Sunday.

“We go into Week 4 and Jimmy was practicing and then decided not to play,” Edelman said. “And Jacoby played with no ligaments in his thumb… A lot of guys got mad about it. I’m not gonna lie, I got mad about it.”

Without calling Garoppolo any curse words, Edelman made it clear he was squarely on Bennett’s side.

“I sacrifice my body all day long, all day long,” Edelman continued. “I was taking shots for this, numbing up that. Ribs, broken ribs, shoulders. Grade 3, hanging on by limbs just to play. And, you know, I can understand why [Bennett] thinks like that.”

You know how it went from there: Brady came back from suspension and a 28-3 deficit to lead the Patriots to a Super Bowl. Garoppolo was traded to the 49ers in the ensuing offseason.

No similar stories of discontent within the 49ers locker room have surfaced — yet. Reports came out over the weekend indicating that Garoppolo will be cleared to return to action in the next few weeks, opening the door for a long-rumored trade. Whether or not he will enter the regular season as a member of the organization remains to be seen.


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