The San Francisco 49ers gave quarterback Trey Lance the keys to the kingdom this offseason, and so far the prognosis on that decision appears to be mixed.
In his team’s preseason finale this week, Lance finished 7-of-11 for 49 yards. Despite serving at the helm of the offense for three drives, the 22-year-old never even came close to scoring any points.
And this isn’t an isolated incident.
In his preseason debut, Lance went 4-of-5 for 92 yards. That last stat looks nice, until you realize it is largely the byproduct of a slick move by wide receiver Danny Gray who slipped past the defense for a 76-yard grab.
When you spend the No. 3 overall pick on a guy you’re not necessarily expecting immediate greatness – but at least flashes of brilliance. There haven’t really been any of those from Lance in two years now.
Lance acknowledged after this week’s Houston Texans showing that there were some issues he needed to work out.
“Not going to make a bigger deal out of it than we need to.”
Trey Lance and the 49ers are ready to turn the page after tonight’s loss pic.twitter.com/gxe0pjOfZF
— 49ers on NBCS (@NBCS49ers) August 26, 2022
“It never feels good to lose,” he said. “But we’ll learn from it, turn the page. Not going to make a bigger deal out of it than we need to, for sure. …
“Some ugly stuff out there, for sure. It definitely wasn’t our best night, but, like I said, we’re not going to make too big of a deal out of it. Watch the tape tomorrow, learn from it, get better.”
Two things make Lance’s struggles more of a story than they probably need to be. The first is that the youngster has been making headlines all summer, just not for any notable on-the-field accomplishments.
Beyond that, the second thing that makes this a story, is the fact that the Niners have Jimmy Garoppolo right there. By any objective measure, there was zero reason to alienate Garoppolo and rush Lance along. He quite clearly isn’t ready for the limelight yet, and that’s okay.
Making it all the more egregious is that other players on the team have made it abundantly clear who they’d rather have leading the offense at the moment.
But now the Niners have painted themselves into a corner.
Paige Spiranac’s outfit was deemed too inappropriate for a round of golf. https://t.co/3jt315rnYB
— Game 7 (@game7__) August 25, 2022
Lance is the guy – for better or worse.
Will he be able to improve on the fly and live up to the potential that San Francisco clearly believes he has?
Time will tell.
A longtime sports reporter, Carlos Garcia has written about some of the biggest and most notable athletic events of the last 5 years. He has been credentialed to cover MLS, NBA and MLB games all over the United States. His work has been published on Fox Sports, Bleacher Report, AOL and the Washington Post.