Quarterback Trey Lance’s would-be first full season as the starter for the San Francisco 49ers lasted less than two games.
“It’s unfortunate for him,” Shanahan said during his postgame news conference. “We’re really hurting for him. We were really hoping to see a lot of him this year. So to have that bad of an injury to where you can’t come back from it, you feel for him. But if anyone can do it, it’s him.”
Jimmy Garoppolo took over for Lance during Sunday’s game and reclaims his status as the 49ers’ starter. Garoppolo agreed to a reworked contract before the season to remain with the 49ers as Lance’s backup after the team tried but failed to trade him in the offseason.
September 18, 2022
“We feel very fortunate to have Jimmy here as our number two quarterback,” Shanahan said. “And especially when your starter gets hurt, it’s good to know the experience and how good of a player he is. ... We have been in this [situation] before. And I do feel we’re a little more prepared with our backup right now. So I’m happy for that.”
The 49ers traded up in last year’s draft to select Lance third overall. He served as Garoppolo’s backup last season. San Francisco reached the NFC championship game but lost to the Los Angeles Rams, then made plans to make Lance the starter this season.
The 49ers granted Garoppolo and his representatives permission to seek a trade in the offseason. But Garoppolo underwent offseason shoulder surgery, and no trade materialized. He agreed late last month to a revised contract that reduced his salary for this season to $6.5 million. The deal contains per-game roster bonuses and incentives based on playing time that could push its value to close to $16 million. Before the restructuring, Garoppolo was to have made $25.6 million on the final season of his contract.
Kyle Shanahan is live following the #49ers win! https://t.co/SFg3G1ydKs— San Francisco 49ers (@49ers) September 18, 2022
He didn’t practice with the team during training camp. But there was a familiar feel to things Sunday. Garoppolo completed 13 of 21 passes for 154 yards and a touchdown. The 49ers evened their record at 1-1.
“Kyle called some plays that I knew,” Garoppolo said during his postgame news conference. “Some new ones for me, too. So that was fun. But, no, it was a good process. I tried to prepare this whole time like a starter, anyway. So it was just, like I said, like riding a bike.”
Garoppolo said he could empathize with Lance.
“I’ve been there,” Garoppolo said. “I’ve come full circle in this thing. It’s tough whenever you see a guy get hurt. You feel for him. Trey’s a tough dude. He’ll be all right.”
Lance had struggled in wet, sloppy conditions at Soldier Field a week earlier in the 49ers’ surprising season-opening loss at Chicago. He completed two of three passes for 30 yards Sunday before getting hurt. Lance was injured on a running play and taken from the field on a cart with an air cast on his right leg.
“I feel for Trey,” Garoppolo said. “I’ve been on that side. ... That [stinks] for him. I feel bad for him.”