There seemed to be a method to the apparent madness of 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan when it comes to his quarterback plan. Setting aside the things said by Shanahan at press conferences (and stuff like that), the truth seemed to be that Shanahan had decided to ride with Jimmy Garoppolo until he gets injured. With the locker room remaining loyal to Garoppolo and lukewarm to rookie Trey Lance, that became Shanahan’s best approach.
Now, Garoppolo is injured. He says he could miss a few weeks. Enter Trey Lance.
And it’s one thing for Lance to be thrust into service on the fly. He’ll get, if Garoppolo’s assessment is accurate, a full week to prepare to face the 4-0 Cardinals. If Lance performs well — and if the 49ers can give the Cardinals their first loss of the season — Lance would carry some momentum into the bye week. Then, with the Colts and Bears on the other end of the week off, Lance could build even more momentum, if Garoppolo is not healthy or “not healthy.”
Ultimately, it comes down to Lance. When Colin Kaepernick got an opening in 2012 following an Alex Smith concussion, Kaepernick ran with it. If Lance does the same, Jimmy could be relegated to the bench. Where he’d become the highest paid backup in the league at a base salary of $24.1 million.