The San Francisco 49ers are a very different team after Week 11 than they were after Week 1. For one thing, they actually have a winning record, which wasn’t the case after a wet and wild Week 1 outing against the Chicago Bears. They also no longer have Jeff Wilson on their roster, which is a bummer but has largely been overshadowed by the addition of Christian McCaffrey.
But the biggest change of all has to be under center, with Jimmy Garoppolo replacing 2019 third-overall pick Trey Lance after he suffered a severe ankle injury. Though it’s been months since fans saw Lance on the field, John Lynch provided fans with an update on his status on KNBR, as transcribed by NBC Sports Bay Area.
“It is true, he is out of his walking boot, and sometimes you’ll see guys with that specific injury — it’s just a tough one,” Lynch. “Right away, [with] the mobility — or lack thereof — but Trey is moving really well.”
By moving around well, does that mean there’s a chance Lance could return to the field for the team at some point, either in the regular season or deep into the playoffs? Unfortunately, Lynch nipped that question right in the bud.
“I don’t see that as a possibility,” Lynch said. “He did a number on his ankle. … I think that’s a big ask to get back this year.”
“We’re just really encouraged by the way it’s responding and by the way Trey has been working to try to make it as good as possible. Trey’s doing a great job going to every meeting, supporting his teammates. He’s well liked.”
When the idea of Lance starting in, say, the Super Bowl after Garoppolo brought the team there would be unrealistic, it would be nice to see the former first-round pick as Kyle Shanahan’s QB2 instead of having to be a snap away from Brock Purdy handing the ball off with the season on the line.
Kyle Shanahan Backs Up John Lynch’s Assertion
Asked about Lance traveling with the 49ers to Colorado and then to Mexico City in Week 11, Shanahan ultimately corroborated Lynch’s claims that the North Dakota State quarterback was doing well but won’t be back any time soon, as transcribed by Pro Football Talk at NBC Sports.
“It was cool just getting him to travel with this for the first time out in Colorado,” Shanahan said. “So him being in every meeting and being able to go all those places with us and have him on the Saturday night meeting, or in this case the Sunday night meeting, before the game so we can go over all the third downs and red zone stuff, so now he’s preparing like he’s playing except for everything on the field.”
Speaking of the field, had Lance returned to it in any capacity?
“I don’t think he’s running,” Shanahan said. “I know he is out of the boot, walking around well. I’m not sure exactly where he is at in that, but he’s not going real hard at it yet.”
“I haven’t been told there’s a chance, so I think things would have to be pretty drastic,” Shanahan said. “We weren’t expecting that much from the beginning, I think he’s right on schedule with everything, but I’ve not been told there’s a chance.”
The San Francisco 49ers Traded A Lot For Trey Lance
When the 49ers traded away a first-round pick in 2021, 2022, and 2023 plus an additional 2022 third-round pick to acquire the pick used to draft Lance out of NDSU, it provided the Miami Dolphins with a ton of choice assets to build their team with. Though the team only used one of the picks on a player they kept, selecting Georgia linebacker Channing Tindall with pick 102 in the 2022 NFL draft, the other three selections were each moved in one deal or another, playing a part in the team’s acquisition of Jaylen Waddle, Tyreek Hill, and Bradley Chubb, respectively.
Will Lance’s value ultimately live up to that of a pair of wide receivers on pace for 1,000 yards and an edge rusher who just agreed to a $110 million extension? If Lance becomes a legit franchise quarterback, that’s possible, but regardless, it’s clear the Dolphins took their sudden windfall in assets and turned them into three blue chip players who will help them now and for years to come.