Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Garafolo believes Trey Lance will be 49ers’ QB1 ‘at some point’ this season

Oct 28, 2021 at 11:53 AM--

The San Francisco 49ers don't want to push rookie Trey Lance onto the field until he is ready. Going into the 2021 season, head coach Kyle Shanahan didn't see a reason to rush the quarterback's development. The team was considered a playoff contender. Now, the 49ers are 2-4 and have lost four consecutive games. Unless Jimmy Garoppolo can put on a show against the Chicago Bears this weekend, the narrative that the veteran quarterback is holding the team back won't go away.

Ideally, Shanahan would like to give Lance all the time he needs, whether that means waiting until late in the season or even forgoing this year altogether and waiting until 2022.

NFL Network's Mike Garafolo believes this season is more likely.

"Jimmy Garoppolo didn't play particularly well the other night, but how much can you attribute to the weather in that situation?" Garafolo said today. "I just [believe], at some point, Garoppolo's not going to be able to hold off Lance. I mean, Lance was drafted to be this quarterback of the future. It's not a rebuild situation, so that's what makes it a little bit difficult.

"I don't, by the way, forsee Jimmy Garoppolo getting traded before the deadline, which is another thing that could have just thrown Lance right into the mix if we had looked at this from the beginning of the season."

Shanahan isn't even thinking about a quarterback switch right now. There is no point. Lance has been injured, dealing with a knee sprain, and just returned to practice on Wednesday. So even if he can suit up on Sunday, there's no telling how much he can play at this point.

"I think it was real unfortunate that, at the time he got to play, I thought he was ready to take off a little bit after that getting that experience," Shanahan said on Wednesday. "I thought that that was going to be great for him to come back the next week, especially with Jimmy banged up a little bit, but he had an unfortunate injury, and it's lasting a little longer than expected."

The stance with Lance may change when the young quarterback has shown that he is healthy and has a solid grasp of playing within Shanahan's system. A few more losses could also persuade the 49ers coach to switch things up.

Added Garafolo: "In listening to things and reading between the lines, Trey Lance is going to be the starting quarterback for this team at some point in the 2021 regular season. I truly believe that, and there's only so much Jimmy Garoppolo can do to hold him off, especially when you're hearing such compliments, as we heard from Kyle Shanahan yesterday."

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