With the brunt of the NFL world convened in Indianapolis to prepare for the 2023 Scouting Combine, John Lynch took to the podium in Lucas Oil Stadium to discuss all things San Francisco 49ers. One of the questions asked was about the injury recovery of Trey Lance, the only quarterback on the roster who is expected to be healthy enough to participate in training camp.
“He’s doing really well,” Lynch told reporters via 49ers WebZone. “I feel like I tell you this all the time, but when I’m in my office—I’ve got a nice view; I’m on the second floor—I’ve got a nice view of the field. So I get reports, obviously, but my eyes tell me a lot. And I’m watching Trey out there taking drops each day. I don’t see a limp. It’s not to say he’s 100 percent, but he’s really recovering well and doing a really nice job.”
“And so he did start the throwing here recently. Trey’s rehabbing extremely well. He did have that secondary procedure. It wasn’t really a setback. One of the plates was kind of given some interference with some of the tendons—stuff above my head. But they took care of it, and he seems to be doing really well, and we’re happy for him.”
Despite being drafted one year earlier, Lance has appeared in four fewer games and played 118 fewer snaps than Brock Purdy, who is actually one year older than the North Dakota product. If he can return in time for training camp, those extra snaps could prove incredibly valuable for the 22-year-old Minnesota native.
John Lynch Also Provided an Update on Brock Purdy’s Timeline
Elsewhere in his interview with the assembled media, Lynch was asked about Purdy’s timeline, as the sophomore signal-caller has yet to have surgery on his UCL due to swelling. According to Lynch, the team has full faith in Dr. Meister, the man who will be doing Purdy’s surgery.
“That’s a tough decision to make, but I really appreciate the courage and the conviction to make that decision,” Lynch said via USA Today’s Niners Wire. “It’s all about the best outcome. Is it ideal? No, for a variety of reasons, time being number one, you want every waking minute that you have, but ultimately, he’s 22 years old. We want the best outcome. And that’s where Dr. Meister made a really tough decision, and we’re very appreciative. And he’s done thousands of these surgeries, and when you have all the swelling out, when you have all the stiffness out, is when he’s had the best success with the outcomes. And so, we’re very thankful, and we’re hopeful that when they meet down in Arizona this week, they can move forward, and then it would be early next week as to when they would go in there and have the surgery.”
Though external timelines have been thrown around about how long Purdy could be out, Lynch noted that because this injury is most often suffered by baseball players, the conditions of recovery are different for an NFL quarterback.
“There’s a variety of different timeframes, and Dr. Meister had a great line that I can’t share with you, but it was very clever just about how he doesn’t have a crystal ball and every player’s different,” Lynch said. “Every person’s different, so timelines are just that, they’re guidelines, but we’ll see. The reality is the majority of these are done on baseball players. This is not a baseball injury. Even the way in which it happened, Brock’s going to throw on and a 250-pound man with an opposing force, it’s a different injury, and so, the outcomes are different, and we’ll see where it goes.”
Whether Purdy sees the field in September, October, November, or even later remains to be seen, but now, even Lynch has acknowledged that the 49ers may have to look outside of the Bay Area to fill out their roster, even if that doesn’t include impending free agent Jimmy Garoppolo.
The San Francisco 49ers May Be in the Market for a Veteran QB
Even if Lance is able to fully recover in time for camp, the 49ers may still find themselves lacking in viable arms to run a traditional NFL training camp. Because of this, Lynch has acknowledged that San Francisco may have to turn to free agency to fill out their depth chart.
“We may have to look at the quarterback market, in addition to Brock and Trey, to insulate ourselves from whatever may happen,” Lynch said via NFL.com.
Which quarterback could the 49ers target? That remains to be seen, but it’s interesting to know that Lynch acknowledges that Lynch hasn’t ruled out using some of the team’s remaining camp space on a veteran quarterback.