Potential 49ers Quarterback Rotation Is Great Sign for Trey Lance’s Offensive Rookie of the Year Odds

Trey Lance may have a path to win OROY.
Trey Lance may have a path to win OROY. / Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan hinted that the team could use a rotation at quarterback between Jimmy Garoppolo and Trey Lance this season. 

"I just wanted them to get live action of it," Shanahan said of rotating the quarterbacks in the 49ers’ final preseason game. "We've done it in practice a couple times, and this was the last time before we're going to get into the regular season. It's the last time you can have the opportunity to do it, so I kind of wanted to do it in this game."

There’s two ways that bettors can view this. One side is that Garoppolo may have a longer leash if the 49ers are willing to mix in Lance in the beginning of the year rather than starting him outright. 

The other side is that Lance, who is +600 on WynnBET to win the Offensive Rookie of the Year award, will actually get to play, even if it is in a Taysom Hill-type role, from Week 1. That would allow him more of a base to win the award if he does eventually take over as the starter. 

Personally, I am going to side with the latter of these two takes. Lance was always going to be behind Jimmy G simply because he hasn’t played much since the 2019 season (just one game in college in 2020) and the 49ers seemed content with Garoppolo playing this season. 

Lance has shown that he’s ahead of schedule, and it’s making the quarterback decision much harder on Shanahan.  

"We've got two guys who can play and we've been doing it in practice a little bit, wanted to do it out there in the game, and it's always going to be an option," Shanahan said.

The 49ers are noticing the impact Lance has on the game, as running back Raheem Mostert explained how different things looked against the Las Vegas Raiders when Lance entered. 

"(The Raiders) were definitely were eyeing Trey," Mostert said. "That just opened the game for me and other running backs and stuff like that, even receivers -- just the dynamic of everybody. Kyle's doing a great job with both of them. I'm just excited to see how this thing plays out in the season. It's nice though."

I think we’re all excited to see how this plays out in the season, but there are a few things on Lance’s side. 

The 49ers already seem willing to play him, and he’s going to get a shot to start if Garoppolo stumbles, not the other way around. In other words, the job is Jimmy G’s to lose, not Lance’s. 

At the end of the day, Shanahan is going to play the quarterback that he thinks will give the team the best chance to win. Considering that the 49ers moved up to take Lance at No. 3 in the draft this offseason, there’s a good chance he and the front office don’t believe that quarterback will be Garoppolo in the long term, which means once it makes sense to hand the reins to Lance it should be all systems go from there on out for the rookie. 

Will Trey Lance play enough to warrant OROY consideration? Get in on the action with the WynnBET app.