Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Rapoport: 49ers remain ‘firmly committed’ to Trey Lance; QB facing 4-6 months of recovery

Sep 25, 2022 at 10:28 AM--

Last week, there was some speculation that Trey Lance could be fully recovered before the end of this season. Foot and ankle surgeon Dr. Kenneth Jung, a consultant to the Los Angeles Rams, told the San Francisco Chronicle that the second-year quarterback's ankle could be fully healed within 10 to 12 weeks.

Head coach Kyle Shanahan recently squashed that chatter by stating that Lance will be out until next season. However, the team expects Lance to fully recover after undergoing surgery this past Monday to repair the damage caused by the broken ankle sustained in Week 2.

"Surgery was performed at Stanford Hospital and repaired two injuries to Lance's ankle, a fibula fracture, and ligament disruption," the 49ers said in a statement.

According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, the recovery time is about four to six months, longer than Jung's 10- to 12-week estimate. Part of the discrepancy may be the level of damage caused by the injury. Rapoport clarified the "ligament disruption" meant that Lance "tore his deltoid and sesamoid ligaments in his ankle."

Rapoport adds that the 49ers remain "firmly committed" to Lance being the quarterback of the future. The team signed Jimmy Garoppolo to a restructured one-year deal after failing to find a trade partner for the veteran quarterback. That was lucky for the 49ers, who had a capable backup ready to step into the starting role once Lance went down.

Garoppolo will become a free agent after this season. With seventh-round pick Brock Purdy as the backup now, Garoppolo may have become an untradeable asset in the 49ers' eyes. The talented roster still has championship aspirations, after all.

"Nothing against Brock Purdy or anything like that, but being a rookie quarterback in the NFL is pretty difficult," tight end George Kittle said on Friday. "So having a guy who's quarterbacked this offense since [the second] half of 2017 has been pretty helpful."

Garoppolo will finish the 2022 season and then focus on the next chapter of his NFL career. If healthy, there will likely be a market for the quarterback this time. ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that the Washington Commanders were set to send multiple picks to the 49ers for Garoppolo until the quarterback's shoulder surgery in March nixed the deal.

That will leave Lance as the undisputed starter heading into 2023. The chatter surrounding his lack of experience won't end, though, since few outside the 49ers organization know exactly what to expect from Lance, even as the quarterback enters his third NFL season.

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