SANTA CLARA -- Get ready to see the 49ers' two quarterback system this Sunday.
The 49ers cleared rookie quarterback Trey Lance to play against the Detroit Lions. Lance broke his index finger two weeks ago in the 49ers preseason finale, and the 49ers listed him as a limited participant during practice on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
But Lance didn't seem limited when the media was present. The 49ers allowed him to throw, and he threw well. Which means he's ready to do anything the 49ers ask of him.
Clearly, the 49ers don't want him to start the game -- head coach Kyle Shanahan has made it clear since the offseason started that he thinks Lance isn't ready. But Shanahan also doesn't want Jimmy Garoppolo to be his full-time quarterback -- that's why he traded for Lance in the first place. So it seems we'll see Shanahan's masterplan for the two quarterbacks this Sunday.
I expect Lance to play at least 10 snaps against the Lions, because I believe Shanahan wants the story to be about how successful his two-quarterback system is. I don't think he wants the story to be about Garoppolo or Lance. I believe Shanahan wants the story to be about him and his system, because he always wants to be the star.
Still, it's possible Lance will hand off every time he's on the field. Maybe he'll keep the ball and run a few times as well. Who knows, maybe Shanahan will let him throw the ball once.
Whatever happens, expect Garoppolo and Lance to replace each other frequently. Call it tag team quarterbacking.