Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports


49ers’ Kyle Shanahan on Trey Lance: ‘He will give us a chance to win a lot going forward’

Oct 11, 2021 at 4:37 PM--


San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan spoke with reporters this afternoon, nearly 24 hours after his team suffered its third consecutive loss of the season. There was a lot of bad from the trip to State Farm Stadium to play the Arizona Cardinals. However, there was also some good.

The game was rookie Trey Lance's first NFL start. The 21-year-old quarterback had his ups and downs, but it was an opportunity for growth. Lance was playing because the 49ers' regular starter, Jimmy Garoppolo, is dealing with a calf injury.

"I was proud of him," Shanahan said of Lance via a conference call. "I thought he went into a tough environment versus a real good team. I thought he did a lot of real good things. He threw a bad pick on that first drive, but I thought he bounced back well. I thought he was aggressive in what he saw. When he saw it right, he let it rip. When he didn't think something was there, he ran aggressively.

"I thought he did a real good job through it all and handled the noise pretty well. I thought it was a good first experience for him."

Shanahan was asked if anything from Lance's game changed his thoughts about the 49ers' big picture at quarterback. The coach has often lauded Garoppolo as the quarterback who gives San Francisco its best chance to win games. Can Lance be that too?

"It doesn't change my opinion, big picture," Shanahan said. "Trey definitely has the ability to help us win games. I thought he was a big part of why we had a chance to win that game yesterday. I just wish we could have played better around him too. Not that he was perfect by any means, but he gave us a very good chance to win that game, and I know he will give us a chance to win a lot going forward.

"But it's more of a decision than just: Which player do you want to go with? There's a whole team here. There's a lot more that goes into it. In these three losses that we've had in a row, the answer, good or bad, is not just the quarterback. We've got to play better all around."

The bad news is that Lance suffered a minor setback during the game. The quarterback suffered a knee sprain that puts his availability versus the Indianapolis Colts into question. That could be problematic if Garoppolo is still injured. However, the Niners don't expect Lance's injury to be a long-term issue, with the estimated recovery time currently believed to be one or two weeks, per Shanahan.
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