49ers vs. Raiders: 3 ways Trey Lance shows improvement

Trey Lance #5 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Trey Lance #5 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /
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Trey Lance, San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Trey Lance (5) Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports /

With the 49ers wrapping up their preseason against the Raiders, Trey Lance will look to continue his development in a positive way.

San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan might have already decided on who winds up securing the team’s starting quarterback gig when the 2021 regular season kicks off on Sunday, Sept. 12.

If he has, though, he’s not sharing.

There are signs it’s pointing towards the veteran, Jimmy Garoppolo, and not rookie quarterback Trey Lance, who despite some outstanding preseason performances and gleaming reviews from training camp, has still shown the signs he’s a raw and unrefined product.

Shanahan has plenty of reasons to bring Lance along slowly. The quarterback, after all, had just one full season as a starter at North Dakota State, played just one game in 2020 and attempted a mere 318 passes over the course of his entire collegiate career.

And he just turned 21 years old, too.

The Niners host the Las Vegas Raiders for both teams’ preseason finale on Sunday, and it’s generally expected both squads will treat the contest as a regular-season dress rehearsal. At least for the first half, that is.

It’s still unclear exactly when Shanahan will put Lance into the lineup. An earlier insertion might indicate nothing, perhaps just giving the rookie more field time, but it also could suggest Lance is closer to starting than originally imagined.

Either way, there are still some elements upon which Lance would like to improve, and doing so in a meaningless exhibition bout would be a great way to do it.