SANTA CLARA — After a rough go at the beginning of the second half Sunday, George Kittle and Deebo Samuel offered support to Trey Lance.
The 49ers' 28-21 loss to the Seattle Seahawks at Levi's Stadium wasn’t the best debut for the rookie quarterback, but he did receive valuable game reps. After Lance went 0 of 2 in his second series under center, the offense rallied around him.
“I kind of know what it’s like to be thrown out there into the first, because that’s what happened to me when I was a rookie,” Samuel said. “I told him, ‘You got the first drive out of the way now. Go out there and be yourself. You know we got your back.’ ”
Lance’s first two passes of the game occurred in his second series of the half. The rookie’s first attempt to Kittle was nearly a grounder, and his second pass to Samuel also was an off-target throw.
Lance improved, finishing the day 9-of-18 passing for 157 yards and two touchdowns with a 117.1 rating.
Kittle shared that he also took time to talk to Lance after his his challenging start.
“Just play your game,” the tight end said he told the rookie. “He’s a good quarterback, He’s going to figure it out -- I’m not really worried about that. He make plays all the time in practice. When he was out there, he started getting his feet underneath him and started playing at a higher level.”
Lance still likely will never live down his first pass to Kittle, which ended up near the All-Pro’s ankles. Shortly after it occurred, Lance was seen walking up to each of his skill players having a chat to instill confidence in the offense.
The North Dakota State product’s chat with Kittle did include a comment about that less-than-ideal pass.
“Next time, kick it back at me if it’s that bad,” Lance joked with Kittle.
“You got to get it up a little bit, man,” Kittle replied. “I’m not Mr. Fantastic with go-go stretch arms.”
No matter if Jimmy Garoppolo is healthy enough to play or if Lance makes his first NFL start Sunday in Arizona, there is a supporting cast ready to be there for whomever is under center for the 49ers.