Chris Coduto-USA TODAY Sports

Chris Coduto-USA TODAY Sports

Trey Lance returns to practice ahead of 49ers-Bears; Javon Kinlaw may require season-ending surgery

Oct 27, 2021 at 12:34 PM--

As expected, quarterback Trey Lance is rejoining his San Francisco 49ers teammates today during practice, said head coach Kyle Shanahan. However, the rookie passer will be limited as he continues to recover from the knee sprain that left him inactive for Sunday's game against the Indianapolis Colts.

"We're going to put him in a couple of reps there on scout team and see how he feels moving around and stuff," Shanahan said. "See how he does in individual [drills], and see how it goes that way. Then, if it feels alright and no soreness after practice, we'll pick it up tomorrow."

Lance suffered the injury during Week 5's loss against the Arizona Cardinals, a game the 21-year-old quarterback started in place of an injured Jimmy Garoppolo. Lance completed 15 of 29 pass attempts for 192 yards and an interception while rushing for 89 yards on 16 carries in the 17-10 loss to the Cardinals.

Garoppolo, returning from a calf injury, started this past weekend against the Colts. San Francisco lost 30-18, falling to 2-4, and losing its fourth consecutive game.

San Francisco initially estimated Lance's recovery time to be about one or two weeks. While the rookie is expected to be healthy enough to suit up for Sunday's game against the Chicago Bears, Shanahan announced this week that Garoppolo would continue to start for the 49ers.

The decision to push forward with Garoppolo as the losses continue to mount is generating criticism from the fanbase and has been one of this week's biggest talking points.

"We didn't draft Trey to just fix this year," Shanahan said. "We drafted him so he could be the quarterback of the future. And I get that's a matter of time but we're not playing him just because what our record is or just because of that. So, that's why our first thing in our discussions is how healthy is he and how's he going to look today? But just because of how our last four games have gone, that doesn't really affect whether we're playing Trey or not right now."

Added Shanahan: "I don't think it's the right thing for him to start full time right now, especially when I don't even know if he can get through practice today. I told you guys I understood why the questions are coming, but that's why I don't understand why that keeps coming because I want to see if he's healthy today, first. And then when he's healthy for at least more than one day, then we'll start to see when it's the best time for him, which I don't think that's crazy at all to think now [isn't] the best time for him when he's going to come out to practice, limited, for the first time in two weeks."

Linebacker Marcell Harris, like Lance, will be limited. He is dealing with a thumb injury.

Today is the first of three full 49ers practices this week. Below are the players who will not practice today, per Shanahan.

While Samuel won't practice today, Shanahan doesn't believe the team's leading receiver might miss Sunday's game against the Bears.

"He can't go today," Shanahan said. "He was out there in walkthrough and stuff. I'm pretty optimistic he'll be alright, though."

Shanahan added that Kinlaw might require season-ending surgery.

"Right now, he's down in [Los Angeles], trying to figure that out, whether he's going to get surgery or not, and what kind of surgery," Shanahan said. "And I think we'll get some news on that pretty soon."

As for the players currently on injured reserve, the 49ers are opening the practice window for defensive tackle Kevin Givens, tight end George Kittle could start practicing next week, and running back Jeff Wilson Jr. in "a couple of weeks." However, there is still no projection for wide receiver Jalan Hurd.

Said Shanahan of Kittle: "Yeah, I expect him to come back next week. They haven't guaranteed that to me yet, but just watching and talking to him, I'd be surprised if he didn't."

The coach added that linebacker Dre Greenlaw probably wouldn't begin practicing this week.

"It's not looking like it right now," Shanahan said while adding that next week is a possibility.

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