How the 49ers will use quarterback Trey Lance has become clear

Trey Lance, San Francisco 49ers(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Trey Lance, San Francisco 49ers(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

49ers backup quarterback Trey Lance played a few snaps in Week 3, with a pattern emerging on how he will be used.

It was a great game to watch if you were neutral, but the San Francisco 49ers certainly wouldn’t be feeling great after losing 30-28 to the Green Bay Packers off the back of a game-winning field goal as time expired.

The 49ers trailed for most of the game, but a comeback spearheaded by quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo saw the team take a 28-27 lead late in the game.

Unfortunately, too much time was left on the clock for Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers. He dissected a 49ers defense that was mostly ineffectual against the pass and drove the team into field goal position to put the final nail in the coffin.

The 49ers fall to 2-1, but can at least take some solace that they fought back hard against one of the NFC elite. Work has to be done, but there was plenty to take from the game as the team now prepares for a big divisional matchup with the Seattle Seahawks.

There has been some speculation on exactly how the 49ers would utilize rookie quarterback Trey Lance with Garoppolo. Head coach Kyle Shanahan teased the fans with a platoon system in the preseason finale and gave a little taste in Week 1.

Lance was unsighted in Week 2 however against the Philadelphia Eagles, and fans were none the wiser on how the team would use the rookie.

What is the 49ers plan for Trey Lance?

But now we see the plan: Lance is the goalline quarterback, and early returns show he’s a lot more efficient at it than Garoppolo.

Lance didn’t throw the ball officially but did scamper in for a touchdown on a quarterback keeper to end what was a frustrating first half with some momentum. Garoppolo was ineffectual in the red zone up to that point, and the team took a gamble that paid handsomely.

Lance was not overawed by the moment and showed some poise on a second snap later in the game where he rolled right and extended a play on a throwing attempt that was later wiped from the record because of a defensive holding penalty.

There is a caveat attached to this. Garoppolo played a lot more snaps in the red zone than Lance as a whole and he still possesses an elite quarterback sneak in his arsenal so don’t expect Lance to take every goalline snap from here on out.

Lance is not ready to start. He’s still a raw prospect that needs to develop before he’s officially given the reins to the franchise.

But this is the perfect way to introduce Lance to the NFL. Put him in situations where he can succeed. He’s proven up to the task so far.

Hopefully, in Week 4, we’ll see more than just three snaps from him on offense to give the 49ers the spark they need to topple the Seahawks.

Next. Are 49ers true contenders in 2021 or just pretenders?. dark