San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo joined the land of the infamous Sunday night, accidentally stepping out of bounds for a safety in the third quarter of their 11-10 loss to the Denver Broncos.
Leading 7-3 with just over 10 minutes remaining in the third quarter, facing a second-and-10 at their own 2-yard line, Jimmy G dropped back and retreated under pressure, stepping out of the back of the end zone for a safety, ending the play before he threw a potential pick-six to Bradley Chubb.
"It was a tough situation," Garoppolo said of the safety. "I was just trying to find some time on the play. It was a tough situation. It was altogether just a sloppy day. I think we had one clean drive and got points off it. Other than that, the defense really kept us in the game. Overall, it was a sloppy day."
The most infamous QB safety to date was that of former Detroit Lions quarterback Dan Orlovsky, currently an ESPN analyst, who ran out of the back of the end zone against the Minnesota Vikings during the Lions' winless 2008 season. Orlovsky now has some company.
The two-point safety proved pivotal in a game in which both offenses struggled to move the ball.
Head coach Kyle Shanahan took the blame for the play call that put Jimmy G in that position.
"That was a tough situation," Shanahan said. "I put him in it, that unblocked guy coming, I wish we'd had time for the big play and could have ditched it. It was a tough situation."
The 49ers generated a touchdown on their second drive of the game but did next to nothing the rest of the way, earning only a fourth-quarter field goal. The Niners punted seven times, fumbled twice -- including the game-closer -- and Garoppolo threw a bad interception.
Jimmy G went 18-of-29 passing for 211 yards with one TD and an INT for an 81.2 passer rating Sunday, his sixth straight start with a sub-100 passer rating (including playoffs).
"He played really well in the first half," Shanahan said of his QB. "I thought he was making plays, hit the ones that were there and then made some that weren't there. In the second half, I don't think anyone on offense did well even including myself and we didn't really get into rhythm the whole time. Our defense did a hell of a job keeping us in there, but we weren't able to get it going."
The Niners went 1-of-10 on third downs and rarely threatened downfield. The performance encapsulated why San Francisco planned to move on from Jimmy G this season before Trey Lance's season-ending injury.
Garoppolo missed a host of throws and made some mind-numbing mistakes that left an excellent 49ers defense out to dry in a tight tussle. After undergoing offseason shoulder surgery that scuttled any trade opportunities and not participating in offseason workouts with the team, Garoppolo admitted he's still getting back into playing shape.
"My arm is feeling it right now," he said. "It is different. You try to do all the practicing and preparation you can on the side being the number two. I did not go through OTAs and training camp, so I just have to get in game shape and get going."
Sitting at 1-2, Garoppolo and the 49ers don't have time to waste with a matchup against the Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams on tap in Week 4 on Monday Night Football.