Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

49ers rookie Trey Lance says he feels healthy, has improved ‘all around’

Dec 31, 2021 at 3:06 PM--

The San Francisco 49ers have been praising rookie quarterback Trey Lance this week. His head coach, Kyle Shanahan, feels this has been the 21-year-old's best month of practice since the team drafted him No. 3 overall in April. Star linebacker Fred Warner feels Lance has been more aggressive in practices, even saying the rookie has been "dicing" up the defense.

Things are trending towards Lance starting on Sunday against the Houston Texans. His last start came in Week 5 against the Arizona Cardinals. That was also the last time he threw a football in a game.

Reporters haven't been allowed to speak with Lance since October. That changed on Friday, when the rookie quarterback was part of the team's post-practice press conferences. It gave reporters a chance to finally ask what areas Lance feels he has improved in recent weeks.

"I think all around," Lance shared during the Zoom session. "It was a long time ago that I played. It seems like a long time ago, the Cardinals game. But all around. I've gotten to see Jimmy [Garoppolo] go though different situations, whether it's in games or in practices. Also having Nate Sudfeld in the room is a huge help for me, just to have another person to bounce ideas off, to ask questions to. And Jimmy also has always been there to answer my questions."

Lance has dealt with a couple of injuries this season. He suffered a finger injury before Week 1 and then emerged from his Week 5 start with a knee sprain. The young quarterback is completely healthy now, though.

"From a health standpoint, I think I feel probably the most healthy I've felt since I've been here," Lance shared. "But yeah, getting more reps, getting to see things like how Jimmy prepares in a short week, last Thursday. Things like that that would have been really hard for me, just as a rookie with no vets in the room, I think those things have helped me a ton this year."

Lance has taken all of the starter reps in practice this week with Garoppolo dealing with a thumb injury. Before that, he worked primarily on the scout team, emulating opposing quarterbacks.

"I was Justin Fields when we played Chicago," Lance said. "Obviously, he can move. Then I went to play Kirk [Cousins]. I think I gain a lot from both of those. Obviously, I think our D-line is really good, so I appreciate it when I can play kind of how I play, and be off-schedule. But when I'm emulating for the defense a quarterback that doesn't move necessarily a lot, and doesn't play off-schedule, I think there's things that I gain from that, for sure. I get used to making different throws that I don't necessarily see myself making. But at the same time, it's good to get those reps."

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