Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

49ers remain cautious about QB Trey Lance’s Sunday status as he rebounds from injured finger

Sep 9, 2021 at 3:20 PM--

Trey Lance's finger appears to be healing fast enough for him to be ready to play against the Detroit Lions on Sunday, but the 49ers are still taking things one day at a time as they continue to assess his status.

Lance has been working his way back to full practice participation after injuring his finger when his hand hit the helmet of a defensive player during the 49ers' preseason finale against the Las Vegas Raiders on August 29. He was seen throwing at practice Thursday without any visible problems after shedding the splint he was wearing days earlier, but the 49ers still listed him as limited during their Thursday injury report.

49ers offensive coordinator Mike McDaniel spoke with reporters about Lance's status after Thursday's practice, saying Lance is making encouraging progress but that it's still too early to say for sure if he'll be given the green light to play.

"He's still limited," McDaniel said. "He looked good, but we're very hesitant to get ahead of ourselves ...You just have to let the week progress and see how it plays out. He looked good throwing the ball today and moving around. What does that mean for Sunday? We still have a practice to go before that. Hopefully there's no setbacks and we'll move from there."

In the meantime, the 49ers will plan for Sunday as if Lance's availability could go either way.

"You try to approach it like both things can happen," McDaniel said. "Just like today, you have to approach tomorrow like hey, he might have an injury setback, so you can't pigeonhole yourself in one direction or the other. You just make yourself really available to do whatever it takes and whatever's available to you. You don't have a crystal ball to look at injuries. You're one hit away, one snap away, from not being able to play, so you can't really (pigeonhole) yourself in any direction. You just try to give the playcaller tools in his toolbox and go from there."

If Lance is healthy enough to play, it's a good bet he'll see some sort of game action against the Lions. Assuming Lance is able to suit up on Sunday, the 49ers would be heading into the season in as good of a situation health-wise on offense as they've been in some time.

"It's a credit to our medical staff, our organization," McDaniel said. "It's a credit to the players because we have been training hard but we've tried to learn from any mistakes we've had in the past. There's a lot of science involved that [head of player health & performance] Ben Peterson leads -- all this data that he throws at us and bar graphs that we try to absorb. But we take that serious and do our best because you can't control injuries full-tilt but you can be smart about things, and it has really helped us going into the season having everyone work together."

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