Trey Lance will make his first NFL start Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals, but only will be QB1 as long as Jimmy Garoppolo isn't able to suit up. The 49ers will start Garoppolo in Week 7 if he is healthy after the upcoming bye week regardless of how Lance performs Sunday, NFL Media's Ian Rapoport reported.
"Trey Lance is not, from what I understand, expected to hold on to the job regardless of what happens today, if Jimmy Garoppolo is healthy next week, it is going to be his job," Rapoport said Sunday morning. "That is something that Kyle Shanahan has been consistent about, Trey Lance cannot win the job today."
Garoppolo left the 49ers' Week 4 loss to the Seattle Seahawks with a bruised and strained right calf, which kept the quarterback from being able to plant and throw comfortably.
On Friday, Shanahan made it clear that Lance only is starting against the Cardinals because Garoppolo is unable to play.
"Yeah, our starting quarterback is hurt," Shanahan told reporters. "If he would've been 100 percent today, we would have gone with him.”
Shanahan has said that he will determine when Lance has proven enough to warrant an open quarterback competition, and has not done so as of yet.
If Lance dazzles in his debut and the 49ers hand the Cardinals their first loss of the season, there will be two weeks of incessant conversation about making a permanent change with a Week 6 bye upcoming.
Garoppolo wasn't performing well in the first half of that Week 4 loss, but also indicated that the injury was bothering him throughout until he finally had to be removed.
If Garoppolo shows up healthy after the bye week and looks ready to go against the Indianapolis Colts on Oct. 24, it appears this will be a one-off start for Lance.
The 49ers have kept things pretty close to the vest when it comes to the QB situation however, so things could evolve after Sunday's contest in Arizona.