Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Alex Mack on 49ers’ QB situation: ‘I want the guy who’s going to win games’

Oct 19, 2021 at 12:02 PM--

The San Francisco 49ers might be approaching a crossroads. Eventually, a quarterback decision will need to be made. Jimmy Garoppolo is the team's undisputed starter right now. However, his injury history made the 49ers uncomfortable to the point that the team drafted Trey Lance this offseason.

Lance is the future. He will eventually succeed Garoppolo. When that happens is anybody's guess. Garoppolo sustained a calf injury during Week 4, forcing Lance to start Week 5 — when the rookie suffered a knee sprain.

Things are trending toward Garoppolo starting this weekend against the Indianapolis Colts. The veteran passer was out on the practice field with his teammates on Monday morning. Lance was nowhere to be seen, leading to speculation that the rookie may need more time to recover from his injury. That's not something that is unexpected or should cause concern. Head coach Kyle Shanahan initially stated that Lance might need a week or two to recover. This would be the start of that second week.

There is a very vocal segment of the 49ers fanbase that would prefer to see the transition from Garoppolo to Lance occur sooner rather than later. The November 2 trade deadline quickly approaches. That will undoubtedly generate more chatter surrounding San Francisco's quarterback situation.

Head coach Kyle Shanahan has also made it clear that if Garoppolo is healthy, the veteran is the 49ers' starting quarterback. Garoppolo looked healthy on Monday. We can expect to see him on the field on Sunday night against the Colts if that continues throughout the week.

"You want your best players to be healthy," center Alex Mack said this morning on KNBR's Murph & Mac show. "Trey has a lot of potential, but he's young. I think with him, it's going to be can he grow up quick and be a good player if we need him. Jimmy has done it a long time, has a lot of experience, played a lot of games, and has had a lot of success."

Mack hasn't played with Garoppolo for very long and admits he probably isn't an expert in analyzing quarterback throws. But he likes what he has seen from Garoppolo in his short time with the team.

"He's on it, on top of the game, really easy to communicate with," Mack shared. "I think he focuses in every week on the details, knows the procedure in everything we do. Yeah, I like him, and he throws a good ball, apparently. You know, I'm a lineman. Don't talk to me about what great passing is."

How did Lance fare in his first NFL start, a 17-10 loss to the Arizona Cardinals? What's the analysis from a player who had to block for the 21-year-old quarterback?

"Trey did really well," Mack said. "For a first game, it's harder to go into a hostile environment against an undefeated team. I think he did a really good job of composure, getting the plays in, and dealing with some new stuff. And I think he played pretty well.

"I think [if] we have a couple of different plays [go our way] across the whole team, we win that game. I think, Trey, did he have a perfect game? Probably not. But I think that's asking a lot for a first start."

Mack certainly gives the impression that he feels Garoppolo provides the 49ers their best chance to win football games right now. In the end, that's what matters. However, a vote of confidence in Garoppolo shouldn't be viewed as a lack of confidence in Lance.

"I want the guy who's going to win games," Mack said. "I think both those guys are talented and can do it. And I think we've mixed up both of them in the game plan to have, kind of, gimmicky plays or mixed it up to keep the defense off-balance. If those two guys are playing well, we have a good chance of being good."

Added Mack: "I think we did a really good job adjusting when Jimmy went down. Hopefully, he comes back, and we can hit the ground running for this next game."

You can listen to the entire conversation with Mack below.

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