Chris Coduto-USA TODAY Sports

Chris Coduto-USA TODAY Sports

What Joe Staley said when asked if the 49ers should start Trey Lance over Jimmy Garoppolo

Rohan Chakravarthi
Oct 25, 2021 at 4:35 PM--

The 49ers have had a quarterback controversy since they traded three first-round picks on March 29th to the Miami Dolphins for the pick eventually used to select Trey Lance.

Seven weeks into the NFL season, that controversy has only intensified, as San Francisco fell at home to the Indianapolis Colts 30-18 in a disappointing outing that left the team with even more questions than answers, especially at quarterback.

For the first time all year, Kyle Shanahan was somewhat hesitant when naming his starting quarterback, expressing uncertainty for Week 8 following the Sunday-night beatdown by the Colts.

"Jimmy was able to come back and play, and we'll see if Trey can next week. Still not sure [for Week 8], but I've got a lot of things to figure out."

While he reiterated that Jimmy Garoppolo would start Week 8 against the Chicago Bears on Monday, it will be interesting to see how the quarterback situation unfolds as the season progresses.

49ers legend Joe Staley went on to KNBR Monday and discussed how the original gameplan with the quarterback room might change, given the expectations and reality with how the season's gone so far.

"Coming into the year, I understood the game plan, from what the Niners were talking about," Staley said. "This is a team that they expected to compete, they expected to be a playoff football team, and use it as a red-shirt year for Trey, and that development. And that's all predicated on the team's success and Jimmy playing well."

But, with the team facing numerous injuries and having a 2-4 record, Staley thinks that, with Lance being the future of the 49ers franchise, the team should ride with the ups-and-downs of the rookie quarterback to prepare for 2022.

"Well, [Garoppolo's] not [playing well] right now," Staley continued. "They're a 2-4 football team, and I don't know if they have a direction or even a chance, as it stands right now, to be that playoff team. So, for me, it's like, if this the point of the season where you say, 'Alright, we already made our choice that Trey's going to be the future of this franchise. We wanted to use it as a red-shirt year for him,' and I don't know if that's going to be the best case right now because there's not a spark on offense. There's not even consistency.

"From my point of view, I think they have to think long and hard about just going to Trey, using it, taking the lumps, knowing that he's going to be the future of this team. You take the lumps right now, as opposed to someone who is eventually going to be gone, and then that way, you're building towards the future. And then when you get to 2022, it's not just starting over from scratch and then taking those lumps as they come."

Now, will the 49ers actually change course to that? Week 8 could be very telling in reaching that conclusion, with Jimmy Garoppolo taking the reins once more against the Bears.

Lance is set to return to practice on Wednesday after missing the last two weeks with a knee sprain, per Kyle Shanahan, but could be limited and not ready to play if there are any setbacks.

49ers fans, do you believe it should be Garoppolo or Lance moving forward? Leave a comment below.


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