49ers HC Kyle Shanahan: Arm fatigue ‘not a concern’ with QB Trey Lance

Multiple NFL offseason reports from seemingly knowledgeable individuals claimed some within the San Francisco 49ers have been worried about supposed “arm fitness” and “arm fatigue” issues regarding quarterback and 2021 rookie Trey Lance, who has replaced veteran Jimmy Garoppolo atop the team’s depth chart as Garoppolo searches for a new football home this summer. 

Lance admitted this past spring that a finger injury he suffered during an August 2021 preseason game against the Las Vegas Raiders impacted him throughout his debut pro season, and 49ers wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk recently took to Instagram to mock those who have criticized the 22-year-old’s arm. 

Per Pro Football Talk’s Josh Alper and Michael David Smith, along with Kevin Patra of the league’s website, San Francisco head coach Kyle Shanahan made it clear during an appearance on “The TK Show” with The Athletic’s Tim Kawakami that he’s more than comfortable with anointing Lance his new QB1 at the start of training camp. 

“No, it’s not a concern at all,” Shanahan said about Lance’s arm fitness. “Trey had some injuries last year when he broke his finger and stuff that he had to adjust some things to fight through and get through which made him have some weeks where he did have a sore arm and things like that. But, I haven’t had a quarterback I’ve ever gone through in my career where there wasn’t one time in that year where their arm wasn’t bothering them. So, there’s no like difference in other guys or arm fatigue or anything like that. He had a great OTAs. He’s in as good of a place right now as I’ve been around and I just can’t wait for him to start practice here in a couple days.”

Garoppolo had been recovering from March shoulder surgery throughout the spring and early summer but reportedly has been cleared to start practicing. Shanahan admitted it would “surprise” him if Jimmy G practiced with the team anytime soon as all involved wait for a trade to materialize. 

“We had an awesome run with Jimmy, it was great,” Shanahan added during his comments. “But when you bring in a salary cap and things like that, there are so many tough decisions that you have to make and we made [that decision] a year ago. And we got to here and I was so happy [with] how Jimmy played last year, that he took us almost to the Super Bowl, got healthy, [and] guys around him played real well around him. But this is something that we did last year knowing where we wanted to go with this franchise and how you balance out a salary cap, how you balance out a roster, and Jimmy gave Trey a year that I thought he needed just to get used to this league, get his feet wet a little bit.”

It remains unclear if any team will make a move for Garoppolo before a different signal-caller suffers a physical setback during training camp or the preseason. Some clubs may still be waiting to see if the 49ers will ultimately cut the 30-year-old. 

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