The San Francisco 49ers quarterback controversy has been as up and down as a ride at Great America. The 49ers drafted Trey lance at No. 3 overall but insisted on going with the incumbent Jimmy Garoppolo at the beginning of the year.
Then Garoppolo got injured, giving Lance his first career NFL start by default. Then Lance got injured, giving Garoppolo a golden opportunity to hop back in the starting group. Well, the latest injury update for the 49ers gave all the answers we need ahead of a Sunday Night Football clash with the Indianapolis Colts.
Trey Lance’s injury opens the door once again for Jimmy Garoppolo
When Garoppolo went down, rumors swirled that Lance would take over the job for the remainder of the season. But that doesn’t seem to be the case after the latest injury news has Lance ruled out for Sunday.
Moreover, Lance’s first career start did not go as anybody had hoped. The North Dakota State product finished the game just 15-of-29 for 192 yards and an interception through the air. On the ground, he was the team’s leading rusher, totaling 16 carries for 89 yards.
However, the 49ers lost to the undefeated Arizona Cardinals by a score of 17-10 in a surprising defensive battle. Still, Lance had high hopes going into the game, but the San Francisco offense as a whole hit a wall.
Now Lance’s knee has him sidelined for Sunday’s clash, and Garoppolo has an opportunity to put the controversy to be for the time being — as long as he can deliver.
Garoppolo vs Lance won’t go away anytime soon for the 49ers
In all honesty, no matter how good — or bad — Garoppolo plays, the debate between him and Lance will circulate for the remainder of the season. Kyle Shanahan’s team is 2-3 and in danger of dropping to the bottom of the NFC West.
If that happens, then fans might pioneer even more for Lance if the season goes south. But, that remains to be seen, and Garoppolo has to deliver in primetime on Sunday night.
Jimmy G has not played badly, either. He’s thrown for 925 yards with five scores and two interceptions in just four games. Against the Seattle Seahawks, he got knocked out early, which paved the way for Lance to step in as his replacement.
Once Lance recovers from his knee injury — which is up in the air — then perhaps Shanahan rehashes the conversation or rolls with two quarterbacks. Until then, it is Garoppolo’s time to prove that he is the man.
The rookie’s time is coming but it might not be in 2021
All offseason, the discussions were Lance vs. Garoppolo. But, the rookie has not done himself any favors to earn the starting job. Also, Garoppolo hasn’t done anything to show why he doesn’t deserve the job.
It will be Jimmy G time in San Francisco until one or the other happens, which isn’t what some 49ers’ fans want to hear.
The fact of the matter is this: Shanahan will play whoever is the best player. We saw the same thing with Trey Sermon being a healthy inactive. We saw this with Brandon Aiyuk’s shocking lack of targets. This trend won’t disappear anytime soon, and it could derail Lance’s shot as the starting quarterback in 2021.
If there is any, the good news is that Lance time will be coming to the Bay Area at some point.
Stats Courtesy of Pro Football Reference