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Trey Lance injury creates more uncertainty for 49ers
Trey Lance suffered a season-ending ankle injury on Sunday’s game against the Seahawks. (Credit: Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports)

Trey Lance injury creates more uncertainty for 49ers

SAN FRANCISCO (BVM) – Trey Lance has simply not played much football within the last three seasons.

His 2020 season was shortened to one game due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2021, He made two starts with Jimmy Garoppolo sidelined. In 2022, he started Week 1 in unique weather conditions at Soldier Field and then would suffer a season-ending ankle injury in week 2.

While many analysts suggested the idea to switch back to Garoppolo prior to Lance’s injury, that is now a tough decision that Kyle Shanahan does not have to make.

But regardless of how Garoppolo plays for the remainder of 2022 and how many wins the 49ers rack up, San Francisco has a conundrum with their 22-year-old quarterback.

The 49ers are in a situation where they have no idea what they have with their young quarterback two years into his contract. And the little that they have seen has been nothing to write home about. 

San Francisco will have to decide on Lance’s fifth-year option following the 2023 season. So based on one season, they will have to decide if Lance is worth paying.

An even bigger question is will Lance have an opportunity to play in 2023?

Many forget that Garoppolo was the quarterback of a 49ers team that went to the Super Bowl in 2019 and the NFC Championship game in 2021.

While some would argue that he may have been the one holding them back from winning it all, it is hard to find even competent quarterback play in the NFL.

Some teams go decades before they have even a league-average starter.

Garoppolo, who is in the last year of his contract, has given the 49ers a chance to win in most of his starts throughout his San Francisco tenure.

With Lance, there remains the unknown factor.

Five years from now, maybe Lance is mentioned in the mix of names that are some of the premier quarterbacks in the league. Or maybe he is a backup somewhere.

Many were surprised that the 49ers ultimately did not trade Garoppolo this offseason, but now with him a few months away from being a free agent, he could have a handful of options at his disposal. 

Even if Garoppolo plays fantastic and can lead San Francisco to another deep playoff run, would he want to return to a roster that still has his potential replacement in Lance?

If San Francisco wanted to stick with Garoppolo and decide to move on from Lance, it is hard to imagine that they would be able to get good trade value for the former No. 3 pick.

While the focus of 49ers fans is on their team’s success in 2022, and it should be, the upcoming offseason could be a dicey one.

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