Trey Lance's first extended NFL action came earlier than anticipated, as the 49ers rookie quarterback took over for an injured Jimmy Garoppolo to start the third quarter of Sunday's 28-21 loss to the Seattle Seahawks at Levi's Stadium.
Garoppolo, who exited the game with a calf injury, had some brief words for the 21-year-old as he prepared to enter the game.
"Just bring confidence to the guys," Garoppolo told reporters after the game of his talk with Lance. "He was going in there, just bring confidence to the huddle, get those guys going. We were still in it. It was a good game. Credit Seattle, they played a good game, but we were battling with them in the first half there. And just a frustrating game."
Lance was jittery in his first real NFL action. He missed his first throw to tight end George Kittle low and then sailed the next one over the head of Deebo Samuel.
On the day, Lance completed 9 of 18 passes for 157 yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed seven times for 41 yards.
There were moments of brilliance from Lance, but it was clear why coach Kyle Shanahan had been so adamant that there was no quarterback controversy in Santa Clara.
The North Dakota State product still needs to improve his accuracy, field vision, release time and touch. Lance made some nice plays with his legs and the arm talent is there, but the young signal-caller still is very raw.
Lance offered an honest assessment of his play after the loss that dropped the 49ers to 2-2.
"Like I said, I think there were plays, good and bad throughout the half," Lance said. "Missed some big ones, missed some easy ones, missed some check downs. Just definitely a few plays that I want back. But like I said, going to go back and watch it tonight and I think I'll learn a lot from that."
The 49ers will await the MRI to determine how long Garoppolo will be out, but it sounds like it's likely Lance will be the starter in Week 5 when the 49ers face the 4-0 Arizona Cardinals in a critical NFC West tilt. If that's the case, Lance and Shanahan have a lot of work to do to prepare for what is close to a must-win after back-to-back losses.