18:20: The 49ers confirmed in a tweet this evening that Lance “suffered a fractured right ankle and will need the season out,” according to Shanahan.
17:51: It looks like the 49ers will have to face worst case scenario for today’s injury as ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that Lance’s ankle injury “is expected to require surgery that will likely end his season.”
San Francisco is lucky in the short term that they kept Garoppolo who will likely step in as the 49ers quarterback for the rest of the season. There were whispers around the league that a trade could still be on the books as teams like the Cowboys saw significant blows to the quarterback position.
Long term, San Francisco has to have some concerns about the development of its young investment at quarterback. It’s certainly not Lance’s fault, but if the rumors of his season ending are true, Lance will have gone three years in the NFL without playing any significant, consistent time at quarterback. In a sport that requires constant training and refinement of skills, this is a disastrous start to what should be a promising career for Lance.
15:36: Today marked a significant point in Trey Lancehis young NFL career. Instead of a comeback performance, however, it has resulted in the 49ers quarterback being carted off the field with a leg injury, as the team confirmed.
Lance will be out for the rest of the game, according to a club announcement. He suffered a gash on his right leg before being taken off the pitch to the dressing room. As a result of the injury, Jimmy Garoppolo has taken over behind downtown San Francisco.
Lance spent the entire offseason knowing he would take over as the 49ers’ franchise signal caller. The team traded up to select him third overall in the 2021 draft, so it came as no surprise that they turned their attention to the 22-year-old. Expectations were understandably high, but his limited action in college and as a rookie backing up Garoppolo led to plenty of question marks entering the campaign.
The North Dakota State product did little to quell doubts about his ability to function as an advanced starter last week. In an upset loss to the Bears, Lance completed just 13 of 28 passes for 164 yards and an interception, and added 54 yards on 13 rushing attempts. The conditions played a big role in each team’s offensive struggles, of course, but a lot was thought to ride on the Lance’s performance today against the Seahawks.
It was reported earlier this week that head coach Kyle Shanahan could turn to Garoppolo as early as the team’s next game against the Broncos in case Lance struggled. Now he has done it out of sheer necessity. Garoppolo was the source of trade speculation all summer, but remained in the Bay Area via a restructured contract. Depending on the length of Lance’s absence, the veteran could once again carry the load for an extended period of time.
In the immediate future, Garoppolo faces the task of leading a 49ers offense that, for the second straight contest, does not include the All-Pro tight end George Kittle against the Seahawks. Seattle pulled off an upset win over Denver last week, but San Francisco currently leads 13-0. Big picture implications are big for the team at the QB position.