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John Lynch explains why criticisms of 49ers’ Trey Lance usage are ‘flawed’

Sep 22, 2022 at 4:36 PM--

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Before jumping on his regular interview on KNBR, San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch spoke with his young injured quarterback, Trey Lance. Unfortunately, Lance won't return to the football field this season after suffering a broken ankle on Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks.

Fans have debated how the 49ers—head coach Kyle Shanahan specifically—unitized the developing second-year quarterback. Lance ran the football 16 times for 67 rushing yards through five quarters this season, putting him on pace for 217 carries for 911 yards before the injury.

Lynch was asked about the idea that Shanahan put Lance in harm's way and how he would respond to the criticisms.

"Well, look, I think hindsight is 20/20," Lynch responded, speaking with Tom Tolbert and Adam Copeland. "I think that's a flawed premise in my mind. I think we had a vision when we took Trey, and part of that vision for how he was going to play is he was going to really be able to be a challenge for defenses because we felt like he had the makings of a tremendous pocket passer. But he also had the makings to do some really fun things that put the numbers in your favor as an offense.

"We felt like he's a bigger guy who could endure some hits. You don't want to make a living out of it, but he could endure some hits. You can get hurt running the football at that position. You can get hurt throwing the ball. ... It's something we all sign up for. It doesn't get any easier when it does happen. Most of all, I just feel for the young man."

As for Shanahan, Lynch has an unwavering belief in his 49ers partner of the past six years. The two have built this talented roster together. Shanahan has guided the team to the NFC Championship Game in two of the past three seasons, reaching the Super Bowl once.

"Look, I've got tremendous belief in Kyle as a head coach," Lynch said. "I think he's one of the best there is in this game, both schematically [and] as a leader, looking out for his players' best interests. Kyle feels terrible for Trey. We all do. But would we have changed something if we could go back? Sure. We wouldn't have had that exact thing happen, but I don't think it has anything to do with the type of plays being called."

Lance underwent surgery on Monday, so it's early in his recovery.

"Trey's a tough kid, but he did say, 'I'm not going to lie to you. It's hurting,'" Lynch shared. "And I think his soul is hurt. His heart's hurt, as are ours. He's a big part of this team. He's a big part of the future of this team. That's tough to see one of your guys go down."

Jimmy Garoppolo replaces Lance for the remainder of the season. The good news is that all signs point toward Lance making a full recovery and being completely healthy by the start of next season.

You can listen to the entire conversation with Lynch below.

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