Quarterback Trey Lance hit the ground running as he made an instant impact for the San Francisco 49ers after coming on in the first quarter when his first-career pass went for a touchdown against Detroit Lions on Sunday.
Coach Kyle Shanahan decided not to start Lance at his preferred position and went with but with just eight minutes left on the clock in the first quarter, he called upon the services of the 21-year-old.
The 49ers scoring move that ended with Lance's immaculate pass was started by Jimmy Garoppolo at quarterback. The No. 3 pick in the 2021 draft found Trent Sherfield with a five-yard pass to give San Francisco a 7-0 lead.
Thanks to Lance's touchdown, the 49ers held a 7-0 lead at the end of the first quarter, although the Lions did tie it up early in the second quarter on a TD pass from Jared Goff to T.J. Hockenson.
In favour of the two-headed QB beast the Niners have run out in the early minutes of this season, head coach Kyle Shanahan defied all simple narratives coming into the season — deal away Garoppolo or keep Lance on the sideline to study from afar.
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Meanwhile, his pick of Garoppolo in the starting lineup didn't surprise anyone as Shanahan has maintained not naming a starter gives a competitive advantage. "I look at it more as, what do you gain by naming it?" he said several weeks ago. "There would be one reason I could think of by naming it that would help and that would be to end those questions. If you could give me another reason that's a big advantage, that helps our team, affects anything that has to do with us, then I will name it."
Several days before the start of the season, Lance suffered a minor injury on his throwing hand during training camp that kept him off the field, at the same time Garoppolo was crafting a strong preseason camp.
Hence, Garoppolo has been given the initial start, but Lance's athleticism will ensure that he becomes a regular part of the setup very soon.