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Why Williams believes Lance has 'responded in perfect way'

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SANTA CLARA -- If Jimmy Garoppolo’s torn thumb ligament prevents him from stepping on the field again this season, the 49ers are not giving up on the season.

Rookie Trey Lance took all the first-team practice snaps at practice Wednesday and is in line to start Sunday against the Houston Texans, if Garoppolo is not available.

Garoppolo sustained a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right thumb in the 49ers’ 20-17 loss to the Tennessee Titans last Thursday.

Lance has not attempted a pass in a game since he started Oct. 10 in the 49ers’ 17-10 loss to the Arizona Cardinals.

He has gained the confidence of his teammates and coaches with his approach after coming to the team as the No. 3 overall draft pick.

“I think he’ll still give us a chance to complete all the goals we set out for in the beginning of the year,” Pro Bowl left tackle Trent Williams said on 49ers Talk.

The 49ers (8-7) could clinch a playoff spot on Sunday with a victory over the Texans, coupled with a New Orleans Saints loss to the Carolina Panthers.

Williams said he has been impressed with Lance’s attitude as the scout team quarterback going up against the 49ers’ No. 1 defense. Williams said Lance takes his behind-the-scenes duty seriously and is always looking to improve.

“It’s everything you want to see out of a young quarterback,” Williams said. “He’s only 21. We’re asking a lot of a 21-year-old, and he’s under a magnifying glass. And he’s responded in a perfect way, in my opinion.”

 
RELATED: What Shanahan has seen from Lance before 49ers play Texans

Coach Kyle Shanahan and Garoppolo both expressed optimism on Wednesday that Garoppolo’s thumb is stable enough to allow him to suit up and play this weekend.

But if Lance is forced into action ...

“If he’s the guy we have to go in to battle with this weekend, I have 100-percent confidence he’ll give us an opportunity to win the game,” Williams said. “And we can win the game off his back, not just by him playing solid football.

“I think he can go in and make the plays that propel the football team to a W. That’s the talent he has, and that’s why he was picked where he was. Obviously, I have a ton of faith in him.”

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