These 3 factors ultimately spelled the end for Trey Lance with 49ers

Trey Lance didn't turn into an afterthought in a complete vacuum. No, there were plenty of X-factors along the way.
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Trey Lance (5)
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Trey Lance (5) / Carmen Mandato/GettyImages
2 of 5
Trey Lance
Seattle Seahawks v San Francisco 49ers / Michael Zagaris/GettyImages

Factor No. 1: Trey Lance's injuries

The season-ending ankle and foot injury that Trey Lance sustained in the opening quarter of the 49ers' Week 2 matchup against the Seahawks at Levi's Stadium last season is the obvious place to go first.

But it isn't the only injury that Lance suffered during his first two seasons in San Francisco.

The then-rookie quarterback injured the index finger on his throwing hand during the 2021 preseason finale against the Las Vegas Raiders, and Lance noted during the lead-up to the 2022 season that the injury impacted his ability to throw the ball throughout his rookie year.

Kyle Shanahan said in May of this year that Lance had only just fully recovered from that injury during this offseason, meaning he had multiple things he was recovering from this offseason to prepare for 2023.

The index finger situation likely put him behind the eight-ball in terms of building up his accuracy during his rookie season, and then by the time he was going to be able to show if it had healed enough for him to be successful, he was done for the year after barely five quarters of football last year.

And, as players around the NFL know, when you aren't available, that opens the door for others to step in and take your job, even if the adage is that you can't lose your job due to injury.

That, of course, leads to the second factor that led to Lance's current status with the 49ers: the success of the guys who came in after he got hurt.