Kyle Shanahan Leaves Door Open for Trey Lance to Start Week 1 for 49ers

Trey Lance may have a chance to start in Week 1.
Trey Lance may have a chance to start in Week 1. / Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan either doesn’t want to tip his hand, or he hasn’t been thrilled with Jimmy Garoppolo. 


Shanahan declined to name Garoppolo as his starter after saying nothing had changed since they entered camp with him as the starter. Interesting...

Garoppolo struggled in limited action in the team’s Week 2 preseason matchup with the Los Angeles Chargers. Jimmy G completed three of his six pass attempts for just 15 yards and an interception. 

Rookie Trey Lance, who saw far more playing time as the team continues to bring him along, got off to a slow start but finished the game 8-for-14 for 102 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.

Garoppolo didn’t seem too concerned about the quarterback battle, but Vegas has been foreshadowing that Lance will take over at some point this season.

“I think Kyle is always challenging us,” Garoppolo said. “He kind of knows us and knows how to push guys in certain ways. I’m not too worried about that ... There’s just so many other things to worry about. I’ll let the chips fall as they may.”

Lance, who currently has +750 odds to win the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year award on WynnBET, has the same odds as Garoppolo to lead the NFL in passing yards at +15000. 

Garoppolo led the 49ers to the Super Bowl in 2019, but an injury-plagued 2020 season has left him as a lame duck quarterback now that Lance is waiting in the wings. 

It’s possible Shanahan just doesn’t want to tip his hand, but if Garoppolo really was the clear choice, wouldn’t he have made it already? 

Unless Jimmy G can lead the 49ers on another run like he did in 2019, I’d expect Lance to make some starts during the 2021 season.

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