The nightmare keeps repeating itself and yes, Kyle Shanahan and the 49ers would do anything to eject themselves from this particular cycle of doom.

They build, they struggle a little, they get back on track, they rise and they get right to the brink of where they want to be. Then suddenly, they helplessly watch it all fall apart when their quarterback goes down and the 49ers turn into NFL Sisyphus, rolling that heavy stone back from the bottom again.

In the first quarter on Sunday, the 49ers lost Jimmy Garoppolo to a severe foot injury that will cost the rest of his season. Before that, they lost Trey Lance to a broken ankle in Week 2 of this season and were lucky enough to have Garoppolo still around to replace him. Before that, they lost Garoppolo two other times — to an ACL tear early in 2018 and to a bad ankle sprain that essentially ruined the 2020 campaign.

It’s a brutal sport. There are always injuries. Garoppolo has been injury-prone. But this specific injury happening to this specific player at this specific time, as the 49ers were beating the Dolphins 33-17 to raise their record to 8-4, seemed beyond random circumstance. It felt almost like a curse.

Which made me wonder: Is this monotonous story destined to end with a surprise? Aren’t the 49ers owed a QB mini-miracle at some point? Could Lance possibly be the QB to replace the QB who replaced him? If the 49ers can make it to the playoffs with rookie Brock Purdy at the helm, is there any way Lance — who has looked better and better walking around the facility and practice field recently — could be an option in the playoffs?

“From what I’ve been told, no,” Shanahan told me after his presser. “He’s not physically able to. If he could, hell yeah. But right now, I’ve been told no on that.”

Let’s put a pin in that one for the time being. Nobody’s pushing Lance, who obviously should take all the time he needs to recover from such a terrible injury. Even if he’s physically able to play football by January, he’d have been out for many months and he’s barely played football for three full seasons. But that answer from Shanahan does leave the door slightly ajar. Slightly. Obviously, it’s pending Lance’s recovery and his and the team’s desire to risk something that would be a bit risky.