San Francisco 49ers

49res’ Kyle Shanahan says rookie QB Trey Lance will play ‘this year’

The San Francisco 49ers have quite the quarterback situation on their hands, though it’s of their own making. With the No. 3 pick in this year’s NFL Draft, Trey Lance, stealing the show at training camp, many are wondering if coach Kyle Shanahan will open the position to competition rather than hand the job to returning starter Jimmy Garoppolo.

While it’s still Shanahan’s plan to keep Garoppolo entrenched as starter, he revealed from training camp that Lance will definitely play during the upcoming regular season. That’s quite the plot twist. Lance was already practicing run plays with the starting offensive line, but Shanahan was clear about playing Lance during games that count.

“We’re in a situation where I don’t see (Garoppolo and Lance) competing,” Shanahan said. “I see, you know, Trey’s going to play for us this year. … Situationally, he is going to get plays. That doesn’t mean that he’s going to go be a starter or anything. He’s going to get plays and you’ve got to prepare him for that in every way possible.

“Every receiver who makes our team is going to play this year. I know it’s different, but when you have quarterbacks with different skill sets, it makes it easier for me to look at it similar to other positions. And that’s why I don’t think it’s a problem on our team. And it’s not a problem in there when we’re discussing what we want to do.”

The Athletic

That’s rich. Shanahan compared his QB situation to his wide receiver group. But he has his rationale. As he said, Lance and Garoppolo have different skill-sets.

But I thought it was possible that Shanahan would play it cool throughout preseason regarding Lance’s potential playing time. Instead, he flat-out said he’ll play during the regular season in 2021. This is clearly an evolving situation, as it likely will be for the duration of the upcoming campaign, no matter how many meaningful snaps Lance plays in the near future.

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