Baldinger expects Trey Lance ‘to be on the field’ for 49ers in Week 1

Jul 22, 2021 at 1:45 PM--

Having a veteran quarterback looking over his shoulder at a high-selection rookie passer is the recipe for a compelling NFL storyline. That will be one of the most talked-about storylines coming out of Santa Clara starting next week when the San Francisco 49ers report to training camp.

The plan is to have Jimmy Garoppolo start Week 1 and, assuming he remains healthy, for as long as possible throughout the season. The 49ers traded up to select Lance at No. 3 overall, though, surrendering future draft capital to do so. So now, everyone is trying to figure out when we might see Lance get on the football field for some regular-season action.

Brian Baldinger doesn't think fans will have to wait long. No, he is not predicting a Week 1 start. However, the NFL Network analyst believes fans will see Lance in the game at some point, just because of what the versatile young quarterback brings to an NFL offense.

"The 49ers open in Detroit, and I'd be shocked — shocked — if Trey Lance doesn't get the ball in his hands (in) the opening game of the season," Baldinger told his co-host, Jason La Canfora​, on the Baldy's Breakdowns podcast. "I just think there's going to be a rotation. And I think Kyle (Shanahan) understands as well as anybody the need for continuity at that position and for a quarterback to find his rhythm.

"But I think there's going to be packages for Trey Lance, and it's not going to be just a run-read option. I believe that he's going to be given a series. I believe that he's going to be able to throw it. I fully expect Trey Lance to be on the field."

Lance's presence on offense could complicate things for the Lions defense, which will have to not only account for the quarterback's arm but his legs too.

"This is already going to be a good running football team if this offensive line stays together," Baldinger continued. "And so, I expect Trey Lance to help that rushing total just the way we see from Lamar (Jackson), the way we can see from Kyler (Murray), at times, the way we saw, at times, with Carson Wentz.

"We've seen in playoff games where they might just dial up 15 straight runs in a row. Kyle Shanahan doesn't care how they put up 30 points. He wants to get to 30, and if it's running the ball down people's throats, and he's seeing the defense break down, and they're pointing fingers at one another, there's another run coming."

Added Baldinger: "I expect Trey Lance to be on the field Week 1, and like I said, I don't think it's just to run the football."

You can listen to the entire discussion below.

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