Jimmy Garoppolo, right, greets 49ers teammate Nick Mullens during warm-ups before last Sunday’s game against the New York Giants in East Rutherford, N.J. Mullens will start at quarterback in place for Garoppolo for the second straight week Sunday when the 49ers host the Eagles. Bill Kostroun/Associated Press

Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo will miss his second straight start for the San Francisco 49ers because of a sprained ankle, clearing the way for Nick Mullens to make another start.

Garoppolo got hurt two weeks ago in a win against the New York Jets and hasn’t practiced since then. The Niners had held out hope he could get on the practice field Friday, but they decided to hold him out and listed him as out for the game.

“If Jimmy could have played this week, he would have,” Coach Kyle Shanahan said.

The Niners will also be without starting running back Raheem Mostert (knee), tight end Jordan Reed (knee), defensive end Dee Ford (back), cornerback Emmanuel Moseley (concussion), linebacker Dre Greenlaw (quadriceps) and cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon (hamstring) against the Eagles on Sunday night.

San Francisco will be getting some key pieces back this week with All-Pro tight end George Kittle set to return after missing two games with a knee injury and No. 1 receiver Deebo Samuel set to make his 2020 debut after breaking his foot during the offseason.

SAINTS: New Orleans ruled out top receiver Michael Thomas and five other starters for Sunday’s game against the Lions in Detroit.

Thomas, a two-time All-Pro who last season set an NFL single-season record with 149 catches, practiced throughout this week as he tries to come back from a sprained ankle suffered in Week 1. However, the Saints ultimately decided Friday that he would not be ready to return this weekend.

Also out for Sunday are starting cornerbacks Marshon Lattimore (hamstring) and Janoris Jenkins (shoulder), tight end Jared Cook (groin), left guard Andrus Peat (ankle) and defensive end Marcus Davenport (elbow, toe).

VIKINGS: Defensive end Danielle Hunter does not appear close to returning to the team and Coach Mike Zimmer said the two-time Pro Bowl pick was in New York for a second medical opinion on his reported neck injury.

Zimmer has declined all season to divulge any details about Hunter’s condition, initially describing it only as a “tweak.” After confirming the reason for the star pass rusher’s absence, Zimmer said only that he hadn’t spoken with Hunter about the doctor visit.

Hunter, who last season at age 25 became the youngest player in NFL history to reach 50 career sacks, was hurt before on-field training camp practices were open to reporters starting Aug. 14. He was placed on injured reserve Sept. 9, but after serving the minimum three-game stay, Hunter will not be back this week. With the Vikings already 0-3 and the virus outbreak keeping stadiums across the league mostly empty, there’s reason to wonder if it’ll be worth him playing in 2020. Hunter is in the second year of a five-year, $72 million contract.

The Vikings will be without cornerback Mike Hughes (neck) for a second straight game Sunday when they play at Houston. Cornerback Kris Boyd (hamstring) was listed as doubtful on the injury report. The lone piece of promising injury news for the Vikings was the return this week to practice of rookie cornerback Cameron Dantzler (rib), who did not have an injury designation Friday and will likely play against the Texans.

JETS: Sam Darnold’s sprained right shoulder will be the team’s focus over the next several days.


Trainers check on New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold during the first half of Thursday’s game against the Denver Broncos. John Minchillo/Associated Press

Coach Adam Gase said there are “a lot of questions to answer there” and it’s possible Darnold could miss some time.

“I think anything’s on the table right now,” Gase said. “I haven’t really had a chance to talk to him in detail. Just really when I saw him, it was more about how he felt right now. That’s why we’ve got to circle back with the doctors and we’ve got to circle back with the trainers.”

The quarterback was hurt in the first quarter of the 37-28 loss to Denver on Thursday night when Alexander Johnson slammed him to the turf at MetLife Stadium. Darnold left after one more play to be examined, but appeared to escape serious injury when he surprisingly returned during the Jets’ next offensive series and finished the game.

Darnold showed no clear signs that he was struggling through the injury during the game and threw the ball well. But the Jets understandably want to be cautious with the third-year quarterback as they determine whether he might need to be limited during practice next week — or even possibly shut down for a few days. New York next plays on Oct. 11 at home against Arizona.

“We just need to make sure that we lay everything out and kind of see where we go from here and what’s best for him,” Gase said. “Not just next week, but long term.”

Gase wouldn’t say whether he thought the slam by Johnson that hurt Darnold should have been penalized, but indicated he would check in with the NFL early next week to see what the league thinks.

Darnold struggled mightily through the Jets’ first three games, but had his best performance of the young season against the Broncos. He was 23 of 42 for 230 yards, and also ran for 84 yards – a franchise record for a quarterback – including a dazzling 46-yard touchdown.

DOLPHINS: Miami backup quarterback Tua Tagovailoa returned to practice on a limited basis after missing two days because of an illness, and he’s listed as questionable for Sunday’s game against Seattle.

Tagovailoa, the Dolphins’ top draft pick, has yet to play this season, but the only other quarterback on their active roster is starter Ryan Fitzpatrick.

SEAHAWKS: Seattle will be without starting safety Jamal Adams and starting cornerback Quinton Dunbar for Sunday’s game at Miami, leaving an already thin secondary even more vulnerable.

Seattle ruled Adams out because of a groin injury suffered last Sunday against Dallas. Dunbar will miss his second straight game because of a knee injury that developed after Seattle’s Week 2 victory over New England.

BROWNS: Cleveland star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. practiced after missing time with a back issue earlier this week and is expected to play Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys. Beckham was limited on Thursday, when he appeared on the injury report for the first time. But he moved well during the early portion of practice open to media members.

Running back Kareem Hunt was also on the field after missing two days of practice with a groin injury. He’s listed as questionable for Sunday.

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