Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Shanahan still doesn’t expect Trey Lance to play vs. Vikings despite homecoming for 49ers QB

Aug 17, 2022 at 10:47 AM--

This week is a homecoming for San Francisco 49ers quarterback Trey Lance, who played high school football in Marshall, Minnesota. His high school is busing players and coaches to tomorrow's joint practice between the 49ers and Minnesota Vikings. In addition, Lance expects a strong contingent of family and friends at Saturday's preseason game between the two teams.

Head coach Kyle Shanahan said the plan was to play the second-year quarterback in the first and third preseason games, sidelining him for Saturday's game. That has more to do with the 49ers playing three exhibition games in 14 days. Only four days sit between the game against the Vikings and the finale against the Houston Texans.

"Right now, I'm not expecting to [play him], but we're day to day with that," Shanahan said. "We'll see how practice goes tomorrow. There's a chance he will, but [not playing him] was the original plan."

Shanahan was reminded that his quarterback is from the area. Would that factor into any decision to give him at least a little playing time on Saturday?

"Now that you reminded me that he is, maybe I'll think about it," Shanahan said jokingly. "But no, [that doesn't factor into the decision] at all. Sorry."

What were Lance's thoughts when he found out that he would be coming home this week?

"I was excited, for sure," Lance said after today's practice. "I get to see my family, see some friends. But it's work at this point. I come out here; these two days of practice should be awesome for us, and Saturday as well."

RELATED Watch: Trey Lance wows fans with deep TD pass to Danny Gray in 49ers-Vikings joint practice

While Lance may not play against the Vikings, he is benefitting from the practices. It's the first time this offseason that the quarterback has gone against a different defense.

"Again, just good to go against another defense," Lance said. "One on ones, seven on seven, red zone, everything against another team. And the new stuff they're doing this year [under new head coach Kevin O'Connell] also, it's fun to practice against. They give a lot of good looks. Obviously, a real talented defense with a lot of guys who have played a lot."

Said Shanahan: "Trey's done a good job. I thought he had a good day today, and we're in the middle of camp, so you have some good, some bad. But he's getting better throughout the whole process."

One veteran teammate spoke of Lance's progress compared to last season.

"I think there's been a lot of hits. There's been some misses," tight end George Kittle said. "Nothing that I'm worried about. I think Trey has consistently gotten better and better every single day. He's way better than he was when we first got him. He's better than he was last year. And he's better than he was in OTAs. So as long as I keep seeing his small consistent steps in the same direction lead to great results, I'm pretty confident in his ability."

Lance added: "Things have slowed down a lot. I'd say mentally and physically, I feel like I'm in a much better spot on both ends. And obviously, I'm in a different position (as a starter)."

Kittle noted one aspect of Lance's play that has gotten better—his touch on the football. The tight end shared a story about one of the quarterback's earlier throws last offseason.

"I think his touch has definitely gotten a lot better since he first got here," Kittle shared. "I'm pretty sure one of my first five-yard routes, he threw it at my head and tried to take my helmet off. Now, he's got some nice touch to it. Like I said, he's gotten so much better than when he first was here, and he's going to continue to improve."

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