The 49ers have an insane preseason schedule.
All three of their games are to be played in a 12 day span. That is simply ludicrous to set up any team like that. It is just asking for an injury to occur. Nevertheless, the 49ers have to play them. Initially when Kyle Shanahan commented on their absurd schedule, it seemed like the starters would see little to no action in the preseason.
After his press conference on Tuesday, Shanahan revealed that Trey Lance and some of the 49ers offensive starters will get playing time against the Packers.
"Some of them. We've got a pretty good idea. I definitely wanna see how these practices go these first two days. I'd like to get guys to play in this game mainly because I don't want them to play in the second game. You're going to scrimmage a team more in the scrimmage than in the game, and then to have a chance to get in a game four days after that versus Houston when we get back Sunday morning will be tough, so that's why I don't wanna play much in that game. So hopefully a little in one, a little in three and then we'll have 17 days to get ready in week one."
Shanahan also added that Lance "in his mind right now" will see time in game one against the Packers and game three against the Texans. Skipping out on game two against the Vikings is to be expected. The 49ers will head up north to Minnesota to conduct joint-practices with the Vikings. Those reps are much more valuable than any preseason game, so Shanahan will know all he needs from those few practices.
As for game one and three of the preseason, I would guess that Lance gets a couple of series this Friday versus the Packers. Then for the finale against the Texans, he gets about three or four. A fairly conservative way to handle Lance and other starters, which is the right course of action here for the 49ers. Holding him and most of the others out is not beneficial. If Lance was already established, then it would make sense to hold out indefinitely. But since Lance needs work still he will need the aid of other starters around him so he's not left for dead in these games.
Do not expect George Kittle, Deebo Samuel, and Trent Williams to participate in any of these preseason games. You could even throw in Elijah Mitchell and Kyle Juszczyk as well. Shanahan only specified "some" offensive starters, so I'd bet that these players will not see a second of playing time. It's also why just a handful of series for the whole preseason is more than enough for Lance since he won't have the star players around him to uplift him.
Hopefully the questionable offensive line can keep Lance upright and with time.