Trey Lance hasn't been in the NFL long, but was eager to take rookie quarterback Brock Purdy under his wing throughout the 2022 season.
After suffering a season-ending ankle injury in Week 2, Lance's first season as the 49ers' starter was cut short. His job as a leader, however, was just beginning.
In speaking with reporters on Tuesday at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, 49ers general manager John Lynch provided an update on Lance's recovery after the 22-year-old indicated on social media that he was beginning to throw.
“He's doing really well," Lynch said of Lance. "I feel like I tell you guys this all the time, but when I'm in my office, I got a nice view. I'm on the second floor, I got a nice view of the field. I get reports obviously, but my eyes tell me a lot and I'm watching Trey out there taking drops each day. I don't see a limp. It's not to say he's at 100 percent, but he's really recovering well and doing a really nice job and so, he did start the throwing here recently. Trey's rehabbing extremely well. He did have that secondary procedure. It wasn't really a setback. One of the plates was kind of given some interference with some of the tendons, stuff above my head, but they took care of it and he seems to be doing really well and we're happy for him.”
Lance provided an update on his recovery on Jan. 31, where he anticipated returning to the field in some capacity in the coming weeks. After Purdy sustained a torn UCL in the 49ers' NFC Championship Game loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, Lance is expected to be San Francisco's No. 1 quarterback during OTAs and throughout most of the summer.
Even while Purdy, a quarterback drafted seven rounds after Lance, quickly established himself as a reliable starter under center, the former No. 3 pick had no issues helping the 49ers' third-string quarterback any way he could. Lance's selfless attitude after facing adversity impressed Lynch and the 49ers.
“Well I think adversity can either break you or it can make you stronger," Lynch explained. "What I know about Trey Lance is he's a guy who's going to take that and find a way to learn from it. And that's what he's tried to do. I think the coolest thing for me was to watch him help Brock after he was hurt. Not an easy thing to do. I can't say enough about the job [quarterbacks coach] Brian Griese did. He was a huge part of our success, but the first person that Brock would come off to and talk to was Trey and I watched that and I thought that was so cool. And it speaks to who he is and his character and it's why we believed in him so much when we drafted him.”
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Oddly enough, it's Purdy who now is the more experienced NFL quarterback. After displaying a selfless, team-first attitude in his nine games after replacing veteran Jimmy Garoppolo, the 49ers can expect Purdy to return the favor when Lance is fully healthy.