Trey Lance will not be the starting quarterback for the 49ers on Sunday regardless of his health, as Jimmy Garoppolo was named QB1 officially earlier this week. Lance's injured finger likely made the decision easier for the 49ers' coaching staff, and offensive coordinator Mike McDaniel gave the media an update on the rookie QB's status for Week 1 Thursday.
“He's still limited. He looked good, but we're very hesitant to get ahead of ourselves, because, like I said, you're one snap away," McDaniel said of Lance. "You just have to let the week progress and see how it plays out. He looked good throwing the ball today and moving around, but what does that mean for Sunday? We still have a practice to go before that. And hopefully, there's no setbacks and then we'll move from there.”
Lance hurt the index finger on his throwing hand in the 49ers' final preseason game against the Las Vegas Raiders. Garoppolo likely would have been named the starter regardless, but Lance's injury forced the 49ers to dial back his on-field work over the final days of training camp.
The 49ers showed off the potential of a two-quarterback system during the preseason, switching Garoppolo and Lance on and off during the same drive. Lance offers athleticism and a dynamic to the offense that Garoppolo simply doesn't.
Keeping the Lions' coaching staff and the collective NFL world in the dark about the 49ers' offensive game plan is in the best interest of Shanahan and McDaniel. Even if Lance is healthy enough to take the field Sunday, they likely only will show limited flashes of him on the field.
There could be an additional update Friday but expect plenty of Garoppolo under center Sunday as the 49ers look to start 2021 off with a victory in the Motor City.