What’s next for Trey Lance, 49ers after his devastating ankle injury?

What’s next for Trey Lance, 49ers after his devastating ankle injury?

The 49ers can get by without Trey Lance this season, thanks to Jimmy Garoppolo. But how does the long-term outlook impact Lance and the Niners?

The San Francisco 49ers are in an awfully good situation in the immediate aftermath of quarterback Trey Lance‘s gruesome Week 2 ankle injury against the Seattle Seahawks, one which required (presumably) season-ending surgery and puts off all hope of the No. 3 overall pick from the 2021 NFL Draft taking the league by storm for at least another year.

That good situation stems from the Niners ultimately retaining veteran quarterback Jimmy Garoppolodespite an offseason chock full of speculation he’d either be traded or released in favor of Lance, meaning head coach Kyle Shanahan’s squad is still considered a serious playoff contender.

After all, Garoppolo helped San Francisco get into the NFC Championship game in two of the last three seasons.

In the long run, though, the 49ers’ situation is much cloudier. Garoppolo is a free agent with a no-tag clause worked into his contract, and the notably inexperienced Lance just lost nearly a full year of valuable development time.

For a Niners squad aiming at nothing short of a Super Bowl in the next two or three years, it’s not the most ideal situation.

What will 49ers quarterback room look like in 2023?

There’ll be talk about San Francisco “needing” to re-sign Garoppolo next season, especially if he plays well enough over the rest of this year.

But the reality is Garoppolo likely walks anyway, knowing his situation as a long-term starter under Shanahan was already ended the moment the 49ers invested so heavily in Lance just over a year ago.

Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer pointed this out, too:

Garoppolo has a no-tag provision in his revised contract, which means there’s nothing the Niners can do to restrict him from leaving after the season. And that means, in all likelihood, Garoppolo is gone after this year, and San Francisco is left with a rehabbed Lance and Brock Purdy on the roster.

If the Niners were indeed aggressively trying to trade Garoppolo last offseason despite Lance’s inexperience, what’s different heading into 2023?

Not much.

That leaves San Francisco’s quarterback room entering next year with just Lance and Brock Purdy, the final pick of the 2022 draft, at this vital position unless Shanahan opts to shake things up with another body between now and then.

What’s in store for Trey Lance in the wake of his ankle injury?

Lance’s injury is bad. No getting around that, and he’ll spend the remainder of the year recovering and getting back into football shape.

Not necessarily ideal for a young player in desperate need of field time.

If there’s good news, though, Lance’s ankle wasn’t as severe as the compound fracture suffered by Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott two years ago, hopefully pointing towards a speedier recovery by the 49ers’ signal-caller.

Nevertheless, Lance will enter his third season at the NFL level having attempted a mere 102 passes, a number many quarterbacks typically reach over the course of just three starts.

Coupled with only one full year as a collegiate starter, 2019, at North Dakota State and the fact he had just 318 pass attempts there, it’s fair to worry about the quarterback’s delay in development.

As such, the narrative surrounding Lance’s inexperience heading into 2023 won’t just go away, it’ll be magnified.

Read More: 49ers will feel these ramifications from Trey Lance’s injury

If there is a net positive here, though, the Niners still have their core of top performers locked up on both sides of the ball. Offensive weapons like Deebo Samuel, George Kittle and Brandon Aiyuk aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, while San Francisco’s rushing attack and defense should remain strong suits.

Considering the 49ers already felt they had the context and roster to boost Lance up as a starter this year, that situation shouldn’t be vastly different next season.

Still, it’ll be fair to worry about Lance’s lost time in his development status, and the Niners have already lost two years in which Lance’s affordable rookie contract would have allowed them to stockpile additional weaponry around him.

More importantly, it’ll put even more pressure on the young quarterback to live up to what San Francisco invested in him, and there’s now much less time to do so.

This News is Published from Google Alert – Trey Lance.

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