Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Graziano explains why Kyle Shanahan, 49ers are sticking with Jimmy Garoppolo over Trey Lance

Nov 10, 2021 at 8:19 AM--

Trey Lance is the future for the San Francisco 49ers. Some argue that he needs more on-field experience to help in his development. The rookie quarterback's last snaps came one month ago, in a Week 5 loss to the Arizona Cardinals.

It's worth noting that he was inactive the next game due to a knee sprain. Week 8 was his first game back, but he did not get onto the football field. Some of that may have been the Niners being cautious with a star rookie returning from an injury. However, on Sunday against the Cardinals, a seemingly healthy Lance still had zero snaps, leading some to question the development plan.

Much of that may be because the 49ers' starter, Jimmy Garoppolo, has turned in two of his best performances this season over the last two weeks.

"Jimmy Garoppolo's Total QBR over the past two weeks is 76.8, which is the third-best in the league over that time," ESPN's Dan Graziano recently shared.

Since Week 8, Garoppolo has completed over 66 percent of his passes for 648 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception. His 80.2 overall Pro Football Focus grade in Week 8 and 79.6 grade in Week 9 are the two highest of the season.

That has seemingly been enough to hold off any thoughts of transitioning to Lance. After all, it was the 49ers defense, not Garoppolo's play, that hurt the team during Sunday's embarrassing 31-17 defeat against an injury-ravaged Cardinals team.

Still, Garoppolo didn't receive his typical praise from Shanahan after Sunday's loss.

"I thought Jimmy was alright," Shanahan said. "I thought that pick at the end, those last couple of plays were some bad plays right there, on that last drive when the game was out of hand. But Jimmy was alright."


That's not exactly the glowing review one would hope to receive.

If the 49ers try to find a spark to turn around the disappointing season, it probably won't come from a quarterback change.

"The 3-5 49ers' season is teetering a bit, and they likely could use a boost, but I do not get the sense that Shanahan is about to turn to Lance," Graziano continued. "Whether that's because he doesn't think Lance is ready (likely, since he came into the league as inexperienced as any of the rookie QBs) or whether it's because he feels Garoppolo truly gives them the best chance to win right now, everything points to Shanahan sticking with Garoppolo for Monday night and beyond."

That doesn't mean Lance's time won't come this season. It's unknown if Garoppolo can sustain his current level of play. There are still nine games — over half the season — remaining on the schedule.

Graziano added, "Lance probably starts at some point this season, but it could be a while yet."

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