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Shanahan explains how Lance is improving behind the scenes

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Trey Lance in the huddle

SANTA CLARA -- Since the 49ers wrapped up the exhibition season four weeks ago, rookie quarterback Trey Lance has remained mostly behind the scenes.

Lance played four snaps in the 49ers’ season opener against the Detroit Lions. He ran three times for minimal yardage, and his only pass attempt went for a 5-yard touchdown to Trent Sherfield.

He spent the entire game against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 2 on the sideline.

On Sunday night against the Green Bay Packers, Lance could again be asked to mix into the game in a supporting role to starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.

“He’s always got a chance to play each week,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said of Lance on 49ers Game Plan. “Normally, a backup only has a chance with injury. We know if there is an injury, he’ll be in there for a while.

“But when you have some plays you can do and some situational stuff, he’s got a chance every week to be in there. And that’s why he’s always up and staying into it.”

Lance, the No. 3 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft and the future quarterback of the franchise, is learning the week-to-week process of being an NFL player, Shanahan said.

Part of that is working on his skills behind the scenes while running the scout team against the 49ers’ first-team defense. He has made good use of his prep time, Shanahan said.


“The way he comes in Monday through Sunday has been great, and I think it’s going to get better each week,” Shanahan said. “The best thing for Trey since the season started has been scout team. Then, he can go out there and not have to think as much.

"Just kind of use his fundamentals, look at a card, see the routes, and really try to play in that pocket and when the pocket breaks down, explode out of there and try to make an off-schedule play and him having the freedom to do that.”

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Garoppolo has given the 49ers no reason to re-think their quarterback depth chart through two games. The 49ers are 2-0 after road victories at Detroit and Philadelphia. Garoppolo completed 39 of 55 pass attempts (70.9 percent) for 503 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions in two games.

He ranks seventh in the league at 9.15 yards per pass attempt, and his passer rating of 111.4 ranks ninth in the league.

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