John Lynch wasn't willing to offer whether Jimmy Garoppolo or Trey Lance would start in Sunday's regular-season finale against the Los Angeles Rams, but the 49ers general manager explained that both quarterbacks are "ready to play" and expressed his confidence in the duo.
"The good news is that we've got two guys we're extremely comfortable with," Lynch said Friday morning on KNBR. "I think the fact that Jimmy's been out there and seemingly operating well now, it will come down to just a decision that Kyle [Shanahan] will have to make, probably along with Jimmy, talking with him. 'How comfortable are you? How good do you feel?'
"They've both been getting reps, and they're both ready to play."
Lynch complimented Garoppolo for his toughness as he battles a Grade 3 thumb sprain that kept him out last week. Garoppolo looked accurate while passing with teammates at practice Thursday, and also drew praise from his fellow skill players.
“Jimmy just looks like Jimmy to me,” 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel said Thursday of Garoppolo. “Same confidence, same throw, same ball, same energy, same everything. I don’t think he took a step backwards. It don’t look like to me that his thumb hurts, and he’s out there doing a good job this week."
“I can’t really tell the difference,” 49ers tight end George Kittle added after Thursday's practice. “I think he looks better than he did last week. I think Jimmy is a tough guy, and I fully believe that if he is going to be able to play, that he will do everything he can to do it.”
Said Lynch on Friday: "I think Jimmy, again, has shown his toughness by the fact that he's even out there. That's a really tough thing for a quarterback to deal with. The thumb is kind of necessary in that throwing process, but he's always been that for us. He's always answered the bell. So, the fact that he's been out there practicing has been tremendous effort on his part."
Lance started in the 49ers' Week 17 win over the Houston Texans, going 16-of-23 passing for 249 yards and two touchdowns with one interception. The rookie also had eight carries for 31 yards.
Lynch clearly is confident one way or another, and it appears the decision will come down to Shanahan, Garoppolo and the 49ers' medical staff for Sunday's pivotal clash, which has playoff implications on both sides. The Rams (12-4) can claim the NFC West title with a win, while the 49ers (9-7) would clinch a wild-card playoff berth should they be victorious.