Thanks to the way the 49ers approached the quarterback situation over the summer, this was always inevitable. At some point, Lance was going to get a chance and demonstrate the reason San Francisco spent three first-round draft picks and a future third-round pick to move up and select him.
But the 49ers’ brass kept Jimmy Garoppolo around, too, and have done their darndest to tell everyone there is no quarterback controversy.
Coming off the heels of Lance’s debut, which was arguably the best performance by any of the five total rookie quarterbacks drafted in the first round this year, it’s a harder sell, with Garoppolo sidelined due to a calf injury.
Lance ran 16 times for 89 yards and was 15-of-29 with 189 yards and an interception. After the game, head coach Kyle Shanahan said the job is still Garoppolo’s, but said he was impressed by Lance.
“No, nothing has changed. That was just one game,” Shanahan said. “[Lance] did some really good things. Definitely wasn’t perfect, which no one ever has been. That first pick I thought just sailed on him. Went to the right spot but just got away from him on that first drive. I thought, overall, I think if we could have done a little bit better around him, I thought he did good enough to win.”
Shanahan was asked later in his postgame press conference about a report that Lance had no chance to win the job.
The report referenced comes from NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, who said, “This is Jimmy Garoppolo’s job. Trey Lance, is not, from what I understand, expected to hold onto the job, regardless of what happens today. If Jimmy Garoppolo is healthy next week, it is going to be his job.”
Shanahan took serious issue with that report, saying that Rapoport made it up and that it was not an accurate assessment.
“No. I feel like they’d have to talk to me or [general manager] John [Lynch] And I don’t talk to many people, especially the night before game, just my family,” Shanahan said. “You guys are throwing out a lot of hypotheticals, especially from someone who made something up — not you, whoever you got the [report from].”