Trey Lance Could Make First NFL Start For 49ers This Sunday

Trey Lance #5 of the San Francisco 49ers scrambles with the ball during the second half against the Seattle Seahawks at Levi's Stadium on October 03, 2021 in Santa Clara, California.
(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)


The San Francisco 49ers made it clear that Trey Lance was the quarterback of the future the moment they selected him at No. 3 overall in this year’s NFL Draft.

So what did that mean for Jimmy Garoppolo?

A trade seemed possible at first, but the team opted to hold onto him and let Lance learn from the veteran.

Yet plans change and Lance was in there at quarterback for the second half of the Week 4 loss to the Seattle Seahawks.

Garoppolo suffered a calf injury and while he has not been ruled out this Sunday, the early signs for him starting are not great.

If Garoppolo cannot practice this week and Lance can, it makes sense to go with the rookie and see what he can do.


Solid In A Half Of Play

Lance came on in the second half last week and finished the day going 9/18 for 157 yards and two touchdowns.

He also ran for 41 yards, further proving why he is the more intriguing option at quarterback in Kyle Shanahan’s offense.

Before the game against Seattle, Lance was on the field for a few plays during the start of the season.

But Shanahan was not going to use a two-quarterback system and stuck with Garoppolo.

The injury changes everything and this is a tale as old as time.

A veteran goes down with an injury, a rookie gets an opportunity, and franchises can be changed forever.

It is entirely possible Lance struggles and is not set in stone as the starter for the remainder of the season.

Yet we all know this is a great opportunity and the fact he was drafted so high bodes well for his chances of sticking in the role.

He is the future of the franchise, not Garoppolo.


Waiting On Jimmy G

Not practicing Thursday does not completely rule Garoppolo out for Sunday’s game in Arizona against the Cardinals.

But it is still not a great sign and likely means he is going to take some time to get fully healthy.

In this scenario, Garoppolo could easily get his job back upon his return.

This is not a team like the Chicago Bears, where Andy Dalton was just a true placeholder with limited upside for Justin Fields.

However, Lance playing well would likely seal the deal because of how high he was drafted.

One thing to keep in mind is that Lance is still only 21 years old.

Time is on his side and the 49ers can be patient with his development.

The coaching staff is not fighting for their jobs and will be given the luxury to develop Lance at their own pace.

If he starts Sunday and then heads back to the bench, that is quite alright.

But if he dominates, calls may fly in about a trade for Garoppolo.

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