Jimmy Garoppolo has received yet another vote of confidence from 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan.
Shanahan was asked Wednesday whether rookie Trey Lance would receive more snaps for the 49ers in their Week 4 game against the Seahawks. The 49ers’ coach reiterated that Lance would continue to be used sparingly as a part of the 49ers’ game plan.
“Trey’s our backup quarterback,” Shanahan said, per ESPN. “This isn’t the preseason. We’re not just going back and forth all the time.”
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Shanahan is, of course, referencing San Francisco’s preseason game plan that saw Garoppolo and Lance rotate frequently at the quarterback spot. In the team’s preseason finale against the Raiders, Garoppolo played 14 of the first 24 snaps while Lance saw the other 10.
However, Shanahan pointed out after that contest that he wasn’t planning on using that rotation extensively during the regular season.
“We have put him [Lance] on the field,” Shanahan said. “We do it in situations. You can go with whatever you want what I say in training camp and you can expand on that or not. But I think I was asked coming off the field of our third [preseason] game if we’d see this in the regular season, I said, ‘probably not.’ So, I think a lot of words have been put in my mouth with some of that stuff or exaggerated pretty big. So, I pretty much keep it pretty real to everyone, but I don’t just tell everyone the answer.
“But I’ve been pretty consistent with what I’ve said.”
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To Shanahan’s credit, he has used Lance situationally. Lance has played seven of the team’s offensive snaps and has generated four rushes for three yards and a touchdown. He also had a 5-yard touchdown pass in the 49ers’ season-opener.
Lance’s touchdown in the dying seconds of the first half against the Packers may have led some to believe that he deserves more plays as a designed runner, especially with the 49ers missing running backs Raheem Mostert, JaMycal Hasty and Jeff Wilson Jr. But Shanahan remains adamant that it will be better for Lance to continue his development on the bench and via an occasional advantageous situation within the game.
“There’s not a quarterback battle right now,” Shanahan said. “We’re going with our starting quarterback who I think is playing very well. I’m happy that he is, so Trey is not thrown into any situations he has to do too early. If he ever is thrown into that, then I know Trey will deal with that and he’ll get better as it goes, but we have a luxury where we don’t have to do that yet to Trey or to our team.”
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So, Garoppolo will continue to get a majority of reps over Lance. And as long as he continues to produce after posting 760 passing yards, four touchdowns and a pick in the first three games, he should continue to keep the No. 3 overall pick at bay.