Trey Lance is now very likely to take the helm as the 49ers starting quarterback for Week 5 against the Cardinals, and perhaps for good.
A raw prospect, Lance showed some good and some bad things in the second half against the Seattle Seahawks in Week 4 when forced to start in lieu of Jimmy Garoppolo when the veteran went down with a calf injury at halftime.
Which Lance shows up for this important Week 5 game is anyone’s guess.
Lance threw two touchdowns, but that was slightly misleading as one touchdown was busted coverage and the other touchdown was wide receiver Deebo Samuel doing all the work. But it’s also true Lance played better the longer the game went on, and he put the Niners to within an onside kick of a comeback.
Starting a rookie, especially a raw rookie quarterback, means there will be bumps ahead for San Francisco. Lance has shown promising enough signs, however, that it’s well worth putting him on the field.
At the very least, he should be on the field for more than just a couple of snaps per game unless the starter happens to get injured.
Trey Lance can seize the opportunity for 49ers in Week 5
It’s not a given Lance will start, as Garoppolo fought hard to practice in time for the game, but the signs right now seem to indicate Lance will need to be under center. The latest reports say Garoppolo wasn’t able to participate in Friday’s practice finale before the team heads off to Arizona.
Sometimes, all you need is an injury to kickstart your career. Future Hall of Famer Tom Brady is the most noticeable example, having taken the role with the New England Patriots way back when after an injury to Drew Bledsoe, never giving it back.
Brady went on to become a decent quarterback.
Lance knows he has the team behind him, a player can be assured of that when it trades multiple draft picks to move up to take him, and he also knows he was getting his chance at some point.
Now, that appears to be sooner rather than later.
A good performance against the Cardinals, who can lay claim to being the most impressive team in the first month of the season and definitely the most improved, could see him make this a permanent transition.
He also has good blockers, and two elite-level talents in Samuel and tight end George Kittle. Lance has a head coach in Kyle Shanahan who’s a master of offensive play-calling and will no doubt have dialed up a game plan tailored towards utilizing Lance’s strengths and hiding his weaknesses.
Lance has every chance to make the 49ers his team, and he may very well have his first chance to do so this weekend.