Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports

Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports

“That was harder, mentally”: How 49ers QB Trey Lance benefited from challenging season

Feb 8, 2023 at 1:18 PM--

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Trey Lance sat down with Tommy Tran and Brady Quinn of CBS Sports HQ and discussed his challenging 2022 season. Lance went down with a season-ending ankle injury during Week 2, throwing the team's plans for the season upside down. The 49ers ended up having a successful season, but Lance spent most of it as an observer, unable to help his teammates on the football field.

Lance was asked how his ankle is feeling now.

"I'm doing great," the quarterback responded. "You know, road to recovery still. It has been a grind, it has been a long road, but I'm feeling good about where I'm at, and I think I'm in a really good spot."

Lance underwent two procedures. The first was in September. Surgeons repaired two injuries to the quarterback's ankle—a fibula fracture and ligament disruption. Then, in December, Lance underwent a second surgery to remove the hardware inserted into his right ankle as part of the first procedure.

Not being able to play was hard on the 49ers quarterback. This season was supposed to be one of growth for the 22-year-old. However, he couldn't make it through five full quarters of the regular season.

"I mean, this year has been a whole different experience for me," Lance explained. "Just being in the situation that I'm in, being able to learn everything that I possibly can. Last year, similar situation, but being able to be on the practice field, being able to be in everything.

"This year, kind of had to take it to another level mentally, being able to be in the meeting rooms when I know I'm not going to be on the practice field. Things like that. That was harder, mentally, some days, but [I] was able to take different things seriously—nutrition, sleep, things like that. And I think that benefited me in the long run."

Lance admits that he also benefitted from watching Jimmy Garoppolo, his replacement, and Brock Purdy, who replaced Garoppolo after the veteran suffered a broken foot in Week 13.

"That's the only option at that point," Lance said. "When you're sitting there this past year, being able to watch Jimmy for six to eight weeks and then being able to watch Brock play as well as he did, it's hard not to learn stuff. And being able to be in the meeting room, being able to learn off the field from [RB] Christian McCaffrey coming in, [DE Nick] Bosa, what those guys do, their habits. It's experience that I don't think I would have gotten playing on the field."


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