49ers

Shanahan shuts down idea of 49ers making Jimmy-Lance switch

49ers
Jimmy Garoppolo, Trey Lance

Kyle Shanahan clearly has heard all the chatter about the 49ers potentially making a quarterback switch from Jimmy Garoppolo to Trey Lance, and the head coach decided to put an end to the noise Wednesday during his media availability.

"There's not a quarterback battle right now," Shanahan said. "We're going with our starting quarterback. Who I think is playing very well right. We're happy that he is so that Trey isn't thrown into any situations he has to do too early. If he ever is thrown into that, I know Trey will deal with that and he'll get better as it goes. But it's a luxury that we don't have to do that to Trey or to our team, so hopefully, we won't have to."

When asked what he wanted to see from Lance during the week of practice to determine the rookie's number of snaps Sunday vs. the Seattle Seahawks, Shanahan reiterated that Lance was the backup quarterback and the 49ers would not be shuttling QBs in an out.

"Trey is our backup quarterback," Shanahan said. "This isn't the preseason. We're not just going back and forth all the time. Trey goes in for specific plays or things we want to do. Trey week-in and week-out -- I mean he gets better each week, the more reps he gets on scout team and stuff like that but there's not a big decision going into that each week. We put in a game plan for our starting quarterback, the backup needs to be able to do all of that if he gets hurt. What's cool about Trey with his different skill set is we always keep him alive with a couple plays on situations."

 
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When asked if the 49ers would think about inserting Lance early in the game if the offense continues to sputter out of the gates, Shanahan said that would be a move they'd make if they thought it would help the team.

While calls for Lance to take over for Garoppolo started in the wake of the 49ers' Week 3 loss to the Green Bay Packers, it's not fair to pin that loss on Garoppolo. The 29-year-old quarterback was hit 11 times in the loss and his first-quarter interception was a product of a tremendous play by Packers cornerback Jaire Alexander.

Garoppolo's backward pass fumble cost the 49ers three points in the fourth quarter, but the veteran responded by leading San Francisco on an eight-play, 75-yard drive to give the 49ers the lead with 37 seconds remaining.

The defense's inability to stop Aaron Rodgers from getting into field-goal range flipped the perception of Garoppolo's performance vs. the Packers.

Garoppolo has been solid through three weeks. Yes, the offense has sputtered early, but the 49ers currently are struggling to run the ball due to injuries to their backfield and the pass protection was porous against the Packers.

Lance has offered a jolt when he has come in, but it's clear Shanahan doesn't think the rookie is ready for full-throttle NFL action at the moment, and Garoppolo has not given the 49ers reason to make a switch.

The embers of any QB controversy in Santa Clara were stamped out by Shanahan on Wednesday. This is Garoppolo's team. Full stop.

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