San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo isn't expected to play against the Houston Texans in Week 17, and NFL Media's Ian Rapaport reports offseason surgery on his injured right thumb is expected. However, Garoppolo could still return to play for Week 18 against the Los Angeles Rams. In fact, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports “optimism” that Garoppolo will do just that.

Garoppolo suffered a torn UCL in his right thumb against the Tennessee Titans. The 49ers quarterback struggled as he tried to play through the injury and didn't practice this week, but San Francisco still wouldn't rule him out.

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With Garoppolo set to miss the Texans game, rookie Trey Lance is slated to start in a big one. The 49ers are 8-7 and holding the No. 6 spot in the NFC. The Philadelphia Eagles are the No. 7 seed at 8-7 as well, with the Minnesota Vikings, Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints all 7-8. The Washington Football Team is technically still alive as well at 6-9, but it would take a miracle for them to get in.

While San Francisco is better than Houston, the Texans did just upset the Los Angeles Chargers last week. Houston will look to play the role of spoiler again in Week 17, so Lance and Co. better be ready for a spirited effort. Lance has appeared in five games this season, with one start to his name. The rookie will now try to help clinch a playoff berth and cement his status as the quarterback of the future.