The 49ers view Brock Purdy as their optimal starter — when he’s healthy. As it will be a while before that is the case, the team has a backup plan. That might end up needing to carry over into the regular season.
Hopes Purdy can return in time for training camp may not be realistic. After John Lynch presented a more optimistic Purdy outlook, Kyle Shanahan brought up the initial timetable — a six-month rehab period — and added that the breakthrough passer may not be fully ready to go until October.
“I think it can go anywhere from six months to eight months, so it’s all open like that,” Shanahan said, via 49ersWebZone.com’s David Bonilla. I think we’ll have a better idea … they say at three months out of surgery, they have a better idea whether it’s going to be six months or eight months. So I don’t know.
“It might be Week 1. I think I’m hearing, at the latest, Week 4. But that’s just all estimations, and we’ll see what happens.”
It is premature to suggest Purdy will not be ready in time to start the season, but this is the first time a 49ers official has said last year’s Mr. Irrelevant might not be ready to play until potentially October. That leaves the door open for Trey Lance, but while the third-year passer is expected to be ready for OTAs, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com notes (video link) Lance’s career arc points to Sam Darnold being the likely 49ers Week 1 starter.
A scenario in which Darnold opens the season as San Francisco’s starter would both represent another setback for Lance and open the door to more questions regarding this job, given Darnold’s draft pedigree (No. 3 overall in 2018) and experience advantage on Purdy. If Darnold is taking the snaps for the 49ers to start the season, will Lance be on the roster?
Both Shanahan and 49ers CEO Jed York defended the Lance maneuver — a trade-up that cost the 49ers their 2022 and ’23 first-rounders — this week, and the seventh-year HC said he wants to have Lance, Purdy and Darnold on the 53-man roster. The 49ers ran into historic injury trouble at quarterback last season, with Lance’s fractured ankle — which required two surgeries — starting that run of setbacks. As a result, Shanahan expects Lance to have a more difficult road to win this year’s starting job — after the team essentially handed it to him in 2022.
“I think it’s going to be harder for him, too,” Shanahan said of Lance moving back to first-string duty after missing 15 games last season. “I mean, Brock played in eight games, and Trey had that job going into last season. And if he would have played eight games like that, no one else would have been able to come in and beat him out. But with Brock being hurt, it does open [things] up, and it does give him a chance.”
Quarterback injury issues overshadowed four of the past five 49ers seasons, and Jimmy Garoppolo trade rumors hovered over the 2022 offseason. But the next several months present ingredients, especially with Darnold now in the mix, for the Shanahan-era Niners’ most complicated stretch at the position.
14 comments on “Latest On 49ers’ QB Situation”
I had a feeling that once the Niners signed Darnold, they viewed Lance as damaged goods. Lance has no spot on the Niners now other than as a trade chip. Trade Lance to the Dolphins or the Ravens for low round draft pick and sign Matt Ryan as QB3/mentor.
If Purdy won’t be ready week 1, they’ll still need a healthy QB behind Darnold until he is. If someone comes knocking for Lance like Carolina did with Darnold on the Jets, pull the trigger. If not, keep him and carry 3 QB’s.
Darnold is already their veteran guy. I’d rather have Lance as my third string QB than Matt ‘Dead Arm’ Ryan.
Yeah, I think Ryan is done even in a backup capacity at this point. Not sure what Bridgwater is up to these days but maybe he’d be interested.
why would the dolphins trade for him when they just committed to tua?
I feel that Trey Lance and James wiseman have so much in common…. Lol it’s a bay thing I guess lol
barely played in college. check
Speaking as a Packers fan I’d feel much more excited about the future with Trey Lance than I am with Jordan Love. Lance really hasn’t had much of a chance yet… he simply hasn’t had enough time to judge him yet, clearly he was going to need grooming based on his lack of extended collegiate experience, but his physical tools are still intriguing. Since before the pandemic in 2020 how many football games has he started at the college and pro level combined? Something like 3 or so? That’s 3 games in three years.
Sean Mannion has started three games and scrubbed up in 11 in his NFL career, mostly while holding clipboard for the Vikings. Should Cousins go down, most fans would head for the gate. At minimum, Lance has been in a system to be successful.
Sean Mannion was released by the Vikings before last season, would rather have the backup QB they have, and just resigned, then give up anything for Lance
I wonder what TL would fetch on the trade market. He hasn’t impressed but only been in 8 games. He is coming off a major injury too. However the upside still has to be there…or belief in an upside.
3-5th rounder? I have no idea….
That trade up for Lance is all the proof anyone needs that Rick James was right:
Cocaine is a helluva drug
I expect Trey Lance to beat out Sam Darnold to be the week 1 starter if Purdy is unable to go.
I expect Trey Lance to beat out Sam Darnold to be the week 1 fstarter if Purdy is unable to go.
I think this is Lance’s last chance in SF. 4 starts. 1 win 2 losses, 2 tds, 3 picks, 2 injuries, less than 500 attempts in 5 years. He hasn’t played more than 6 quarters in a row without getting hurt in the last few years. He’s been available to play (uninjured) in 17 of 34 regular season games during his tenure. The 49ers may have been too clever by half rolling the dice on Trey. He seems like a great guy with a good work ethic, but just not a good fit. Purdy had 3x the number of passes that Trey over the past few years before stepping on the field to replace JG vs Miami last year. Now Darnold comes in making less than Trey (also #3 pick) with more experience at every single level in football. Nothing against #5 at all, but he is a project that needs reps and that’s best suited for a last place rebuild team, not a win now contender.