GLENDALE, Ariz. — Contrary to popular belief, Trey Lance recalls only one real collision Sunday in the 49ers' 17-10 loss to the Arizona Cardinals.
The rookie quarterback ran the ball 16 times for 89 yards and appeared to take a lot of hits while being tackled. After the game, Lance reported he felt fine because the only real collision he had was the fourth-and-1 goal-line situation early in the second quarter.
“It might look a lot worse than it is," Lance said. "I feel like when I’m getting down and guys are just falling on top of me. It’s not like they can really hit me.
“Guys coming from the side aren’t really hits on your body. I don’t think I took too many shots. I’m sure I’ll see how I feel tomorrow, but a lot of them were just pushing me down after throws.”
Nick Bosa expressed some concern for his quarterback's health after the game. The 49ers' star pass rusher stayed locked into the task at hand, but he admitted he did watch parts of Lance’s debut and had a few recommendations for the rookie.
“It was fun to watch,” Bosa said. “He definitely runs the ball hard. He might need to learn how to slide. He might need to work on his juke move a little, too.”
Lance finished the day completing 15 of 29 passes for 192 yards with one interception. The young QB reported he felt confident entering the game after a full week of practice with the first team, but of course, he believed there was some good and some bad in his first NFL start.
Trent Williams reported that the rookie was poised in the huddle and believed that Lance gave the 49ers a chance to win. The Pro Bowl left tackle -- whose job is to protect Lance's blindside -- wasn’t surprised at Lance's instinct to run head first into contact -- literally.
“I think he’s been playing like that for forever,” Williams said. “He was getting down in some instances. He’s a big dude, so sometimes it’s natural for him to drop his head and try to get extra yards.”
Kyle Shanahan didn't express concern about the amount of contact Lance took during the game, but he did take notice. With Jimmy Garoppolo out with an injured calf, the 49ers need to try to stay as healthy as possible, but the 49ers coach believes his young QB will get better with more experience.
“You always got to protect yourself as a quarterback," Shanahan said. "I think he’ll get better with that as he goes. I saw him do it a few times. Whether it’s a slide or not, it’s just trying to get down and not get hit by pursuit. You never just watch a play and ignore that. You talk about all the ways he can protect himself, what the situations, and that stuff he’ll get. I thought he did a decent job today, but that’s stuff that he’ll get better at with experience.”