The San Francisco 49ers plan to have Trey Lance eventually take over for Jimmy Garoppolo. However, that likely won’t happen during Lance’s rookie training camp.
Shanahan told Peter King for “Football Morning in America” that he can’t say when Lance will be San Francisco’s starter, but he does think Garoppolo at his best will be able to beat out Lance or any rookie quarterback.
“In this business, if you’re trying to plan out the next six months and say, ‘Where’s it going?’ that’s a mistake,” Shanahan said. “You can’t do it. What I told Jimmy right when we made the trade is, ‘I don’t know any rookie who can come and beat you out if you’re playing at his best self.’ I didn’t necessarily think he was there last year at training camp. Then he had the injuries and stuff. But right now I see him playing well out here. If he can continue to go that way, that’s great for Trey. That’s great for our team. Then Trey can wait till he’s at his best self, which doesn’t happen overnight.”
Shanahan added that he “truly” doesn’t know when Lance will supplant the veteran quarterback.
Garoppolo has played well for the 49ers at times and has even led San Francisco to the Super Bowl. However, injuries have limited the 29-year-old to just one full season with the franchise since 2017.
During his one full season in 2019, Garoppolo went 13-3, completing 69.1% of his passes for 3,978 yards and 27 touchdowns against 13 interceptions. That was the campaign that San Francisco made it to the Super Bowl.
If Garoppolo can play as he did in 2019 in 2021, then Lance will spend a decent amount of time on the bench.