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Chris Coduto-USA TODAY Sports

Chris Coduto-USA TODAY Sports

Laken Tomlinson on 49ers rookie Trey Lance: ‘A lot of guys are excited for him’

Dec 28, 2021 at 10:42 AM--

The San Francisco 49ers could be pushing forward with rookie Trey Lance leading the offense down the stretch and possibly into the playoffs. That all depends on Jimmy Garoppolo's thumb. While head coach Kyle Shanahan downplayed the injury, calling it a thumb sprain, NFL insiders Ian Rapoport and Adam Schefter painted a more serious picture.

Rapoport reported that the 49ers quarterback suffered a torn ligament and chipped bone in his right thumb. Schefter says Garoppolo suffered a UCL tear and fracture. While Shanahan, probably trying to keep their upcoming opponent, Houston Texans, guessing, said the 49ers would re-evaluate Garoppolo on Wednesday, it sounds as though the veteran passer might miss that game, and possibly more.

The good news is that Shanahan praised Lance's recent progress while discussing the rookie during a conference call with reporters on Monday.

"I think this last month with Trey has been his best consecutive four weeks of practice since we've had him," Shanahan said. "He's had a number of good days, and he's had some bad days like most guys do. But as far as his consistency and stuff, I feel this last month has been his best."

Players like guard Laken Tomlinson are ready to block for whoever is under center—Lance or Garoppolo. The veteran offensive lineman has been impressed with the first-year quarterback, though.

"I was extremely impressed with the couple of games that he got to play early on in the year," Tomlinson told KNBR's Marcus Thompson and Kerry Crowley on Tuesday morning. "Just the way he handled his business and went out there and operated the offense. A lot of guys are excited for him and what he can do with this offense."

Most of Lance's work in practice has been on the scout team. The rookie has taken just 116 in-game snaps compared to Garoppolo's 843. Most of Lance's work came in Weeks 4 and 5, and the 21-year-old quarterback has not attempted an in-game snap since.

"He's taking every day, and he's getting better, and he's getting coached up—a real coachable guy," Tomlinson added. "We love to see it, especially a guy that young doing all those different things. It's very exciting."

The 49ers will host the Texans at Levi's Stadium on Sunday. They will then close out the regular season on the road against the Los Angeles Rams in Week 18.

You can listen to the entire conversation with Tomlinson below.


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