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Kyle Shanahan discusses Trey Lance’s future on KNBR



© Stan Szeto | 2023 Aug 19

The quotes in this story are an excerpt from today’s exclusive interview with Kyle Shanahan on KNBR, airing at 4:50 p.m.

Kyle Shanahan has essentially confirmed today’s bombshell report that Sam Darnold is the 49ers’ No. 2 quarterback heading into the regular season.

Speaking with Tolbert & Copes, Shanahan said that Darnold separated himself in the competition during the Raiders game 10 days ago. When asked if that means Trey will no longer be on the roster to start the season, Shanahan said he hopes he remains a 49er, but confirmed they are willing to move him if a better situation presents itself.

“I’m really hoping so,” Shanahan said on KNBR about Lance being with the team Week 1. “I mean this isn’t a thing where we’re giving up on Trey. This is more of how Brock [Purdy] played in his seven games and that was decided before the season started, and how Sam’s looked. They’ve both looked good but we have to make a decision here. You only get so many reps at it. We feel starting about 10 days ago Sam really separated himself, and we got to keep it real in that way.

“I feel very, very fortunate to have both of them here. I really hope when it’s said and done that all three of these guys are here, and you never know when that’s going to come up. We needed four guys last year. It doesn’t happen much, but if we can have Trey as an option here, I would feel extremely happy about that. I think the other quarterbacks in our room would and our team would. Trey is a very well-liked guy and one of the better people I’ve been around, and I do think he’s going to have a lot of success in this league.”

Lance was not on the practice field Wednesday after Tom Pelissero’s report broke, and it’s unclear — though seemingly unlikely — if he will play in the preseason finale on Friday. Shanahan admitted it’s a tough break for Lance who has struggled with injuries since being drafted with the No. 3 overall pick in 2021.

“It’s been a tough road for him because the times he has got an opportunity, he ended up getting hurt and missing that window,” Shanahan continued. “We’ll always try to do right for Trey. If there’s a better situation that his heart’s in, we’re going to make sure not to hurt him in that way. So, that’s something I talked to him about this morning and stuff that I’ll talk to him about tonight and continue to talk to him about.

“Trey knows how I feel about him and I hope he ends up being able to be here and that’s the best thing for him, but we’ve got to see what is the best thing from now until then.”