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Shanahan explains why Lance took first-team rep at practice

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SANTA CLARA -- Quarterback Trey Lance moved out of the pocket, rolled to his left and unleashed a 40-yard throw for wide receiver Trent Sherfield, whom he led perfectly.

Lance’s deep pass to Sherfield was one of his 14 consecutive completions to open 11-on-11 drills as the 49ers on Tuesday held their first practice with pads.

His only incompletion came on his final pass attempt of the day, as he overthrew Richie James, who was held up on a jam from rookie cornerback Deommodore Lenoir.

Lance also took his first snap with the first-team offensive line.

But 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said Lance's appearance with the first team is not a foreshadowing of him entering a quarterback competition.

“I don’t really look at it like that,” Shanahan said. “I thought he had a decent day. I thought he did good with his reps — not perfect. We’re just evaluating everybody right now.”

Jimmy Garoppolo completed 10 of 17 pass attempts and remains the top quarterback on the depth chart.

The 49ers selected Lance with the No. 3 overall pick, so there will be a point when his time will come. But when? Shanahan was asked what he has to see before he elevates Lance to the starting role.

“When I think he gives us the best chance to win.” Shanahan answered.

Garoppolo is having a solid training camp, but Lance is the one who is making most of the eye-popping plays. Shanahan acknowledged that Lance is continuing to improve.

“He’s getting better each day,” Shanahan said of Lance. “I think that’ll continue to happen, just the more he plays and the more he works out.”

 

Lance also ran the ball 10 times. Only two of his runs came on scrambles when pass plays broke down. All of his other runs were on read options or designed quarterback runs.

Lance took his first snap with the first team, as Shanahan said he wanted every group of offensive linemen to execute a particular run play.

“We made sure all the O-lines got it. but it isn’t a play you do with all the quarterbacks,” Shanahan said.

Here are other notes and observations from the 49ers’ sixth practice of training camp:

—Injury update: Linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair (knee sprain) and cornerback Tim Harris Jr. (groin) are expected to miss a couple of weeks. Cornerback Dontae Johnson (foot) is day-to-day, and wide receiver Deebo Samuel was given the day off due to tightness in his groin.

— Defensive end Dee Ford looked good as a pass rusher and showed his speed when he took a good angle toward the sideline to run Lance out of bounds on a scramble.

Said Shanahan, “He looked like the Dee Ford I remember.”

—Wide receiver Jalen Hurd got some snaps during 11-on-11 work. He ran some routes on the backside and did not see any passes thrown his way.

--With Samuel working on a side field, Sherfield had his most productive day with five receptions. Sherfield was known for his special-teams play the past three seasons with the Arizona Cardinals.

“He’s a guy who we think has a chance to make this team just as a receiver,” Shanahan said. “When you throw in how good of a special teams player he is, that makes him very hard for guys to beat out.”

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—The biggest win of one-on-one drills came when defensive end Anthony Zettel beat left tackle Trent Williams, which drew a big reaction from the other defensive linemen. Williams even congratulated Zettel after the rep. When the two met again, Williams handled him decisively.

—Ken Webster lined up at left cornerback with the first team. On his first rep, he broke up Garoppolo’s pass intended for receiver River Cracraft.

—Linebacker James Burgess Jr. had an interception of a Nate Sudfeld pass intended for Cracraft. Sudfeld was four of seven, while Josh Rosen completed one of three attempts.

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