Armstead not focused on Jimmy-Lance debate amid losing skid

Arik Armstead

Mired in a four-game losing streak, all the talk around the 49ers is centered on the quarterback saga between Jimmy Garoppolo and rookie Trey Lance.

But while all the outside noise is locked in on the QB debate in Santa Clara, that's not the case within the locker room.

"I don't view the quarterback situation," Arik Armstead told KNBR's "Murph and Mac" on Wednesday. "I'm a guy who puts things into perspective and I can control what I can control. That's going out there and putting the onus on me, myself and finding a way to be the reason why we win a game. I'm capable of making game-changing plays to help us win and that's my focus and my responsibility.

"Like I said earlier, if everyone takes that same approach then we can be better moving forward. If everyone puts the onus on themselves to go out there and dominate and play at a high level, which we know we can -- we have the talent and all the ability to do that. So, I don't really view the quarterback situation. You know, Jimmy is a great player to me. I've obviously played with him for some years now and Trey is a great young player too, who I have had the pleasure of playing with now for the beginning of his career.

"Whatever is going on there, I'm focused on what I can control and me being the reason that we win."

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The 49ers drafted Lance with the No. 3 overall pick in April. The 21-year-old signal-caller has seen action in four games this season, including getting the start in the 49ers' 17-10 loss to the Arizona Cardinals in Week 5 when Garoppolo was inactive due to a calf injury.

Garoppolo returned Sunday and played in the 49ers' 30-18 Week 7 loss to the Indianapolis Colts while Lance was inactive with a knee sprain he suffered during that loss to the Cardinals.

While calls for Lance to take over as the starter have grown louder as the losses have piled up, 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said Monday that Garoppolo would remain the starter for Sunday's game in Chicago against the Bears.

"We didn't go into that game thinking that Jimmy was one bad game away from losing his job or anything like that," Shanahan said in a conference call with Bay Area reporters Monday.

"Jimmy didn't play as good as he could, which he knows that and I know that. I think there were some pretty hard circumstances for him -- for both quarterbacks, considering some of the weather. But I definitely thought he could play better."

Shanahan also defended his decision not to play Lance so the rookie can get valuable NFL experience now that will help him in 2022 and beyond.

"I think you're asking, when do you start playing people just for experience?" Shanahan said Monday. "And when you're playing people just to get them experience, you start to do that when you're completely eliminated from playoffs. If you're doing it for other reasons, then you do that when you feel a person's ready. Our record is 2-4, so I get it, and we've lost four in a row. So I get why I'm getting questions like that. But we're 2-4, you get two games in a row and you're right back to .500 and you’ve got a chance.

"I remember 10 years ago, I was on a Bye Week at 3-6 and it felt like the world was falling apart and we were last place in the division. And we finished the year 10-6 and ended up winning the division and going into the playoffs. So I get all the questions, but it's way too early for me to start thinking about just getting guys experience and giving up on the year in that way. I'm trying to do what's best for our team. And also what's best for those players, not just Trey, but other guys. Getting experience just to get it isn't always beneficial.”

Armstead and the 49ers will look to snap their losing streak Sunday in Chicago and quiet the noise surrounding the most important position in sports.

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