1. 49ers QB Trey Lance
Rookie quarterback Trey Lance has been injured, so you have to forgive Shanahan’s choice to play Garoppolo last week. Even choosing to stick with the veteran against the Bears is far from the worst personnel decision by this coaching staff. At this point, Shanahan has admitted Lance is the future of the franchise. In an almost-doomed season, he has to think about protecting the rookie and not throwing him into a situation that could have a long-term effect on his confidence.
Speaking on the issue of Lance, Shanahan told NBC Sports he won’t risk Lance’s future for a few potential wins:
"You don’t just do that because you’re not playing the way you want to play and think you’re going to put a rookie in and think he’s going to be the answer to everything. I don’t think that’s fair to him and I don’t think that’s right for the team."
That’s some of the more level-headed thinking expressed by Shanahan in recent weeks. The 21-year-old first-round pick has shown flashes of his strength and grit already this season, so it’s understandable to want him on the field making some sense of this disjointed offense.
But patience is key here.
That being said, Lance should get a share of the snaps under center in Chicago. The Bears are a soundly beatable team. The potential loss of Mack for Chicago matters here, too, and takes away even more risk for Lance.
If the offense can get in a comfortable position for San Francisco, let the rookie loose.