Has Lance regressed? Shanahan responds to report about QB

Trey Lance

Despite the 49ers owning a 3-5 record after an embarrassing loss to the Colt McCoy-led Arizona Cardinals, coach Kyle Shanahan isn't thinking about making a change at quarterback.

In fairness, quarterback play is far from the 49ers' most significant issue right now. But they eventually will have to turn the page from Jimmy Garoppolo to Trey Lance.

During training camp, many believed Lance, the No. 3 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, would overtake Garoppolo shortly after the start of the season. But a recent report from Bally Sports' Mike Silver noted that the North Dakota State product has regressed after his impressive showing in training camp, and that's part of the reason Shanahan hasn't handed him the baton.

The 49ers coach responded to the report Thursday, noting most players' don't improve on a linear trajectory.

"Yeah, he's gone up, he's gone down, just like every player in here," Shanahan said. "So, when somebody has a report that he had a really good first week of training camp, he did have a really good first week of training camp. He also had a good fourth week, a good third week. I can't remember exactly how it goes. So, there's probably some accuracy to that report, which I think would be accurate with every player on our team."

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Lance saw snaps in three of the 49ers' first four games, and then started in Week 5 with Garoppolo out with a calf injury. Lance suffered a knee sprain in that game and was inactive in Week 7, after the bye. The rookie has been active for the past two games, but he hasn't seen the field as Garoppolo has racked up over 300 yards in each contest.


Shanahan continues to note that he has the Lance package in the playbook every week, but he hasn't felt the need to bust it out.

Lance is the future, but it's clear the 49ers only will turn the page once they believe their 2021 hopes are truly dashed. That might come Monday night if they can't spring the upset on the NFC West rival Los Angeles Rams.

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