Simms believes Shanahan was hoping Lance would start at QB


Each and every practice or game that Trey Lance is awarded reps with the 49ers' first-team offense, the decision on who to start under center becomes more and more difficult. 

While it seems as if incumbent quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo will start Week 1 with Lance mixed in here and there on certain plays throughout a drive, the final decision on who coach Kyle Shanahan will start against the Detroit Lions has yet to be announced. 

Chris Simms, who is an analyst for NBC Sports, and a friend of Shanahan's, was asked on NBC's Sunday Night Football Final show if he believes there is a clear-cut starter between Garoppolo and Lance. 

“I think it’s Jimmy Garoppolo," Simms said. "I think in (Kyle Shanahan’s) heart of heart’s he probably wanted to start Trey Lance, the rookie, but there’s been some rookie things happening with Trey Lance.

"We’ve seen a lot of inaccurate throws, some turnovers, things like that. I think he knows he has some growing to do in some of the obvious passing situations. He can trust Jimmy G in those situations."

For the time being, it appears as if Lance will make situational appearances within the offense, as we saw in the 49ers' win over the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday. 

Forcing defenses to prepare for the possibility of Lance being out on the field at any given moment will provide the 49ers with a fun advantage. 


"I think this is a nice little sprinkle he’s got," Simms said. "Just a good way for Trey Lance on the field, to be a pain in the butt for the defensive schemes."

RELATED: Lance expected to miss week with fracture on throwing hand

Simms also joined Mike Florio's Pro Football Talk, where he further explained why Lance won't be starting for the 49ers in Week 1. 

"I think ultimately Shanahan must have come to the realization here in the last week to 10 days, Trey Lance is not in the trust tree yet," Simms said. "Not throwing the ball in the pocket, not on the obvious passing downs when you know he has to throw it.

"He does some things where you go ‘Wow,’ but he (also) does some things where you go ‘woah…’ “

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