Why the 49ers Don't Have to Rush Trey Lance to be the Starting Quarterback

The 49ers have made it clear they want to be patient with Lance, who will turn 21 on May 9.
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The worst thing the 49ers could do to Trey Lance is rush him into action before he's ready.

When he shows it's time for him to be the starting quarterback, he'll be the starting quarterback. And maybe time time will be September. But right now, head coach Kyle Shanahan says Lance isn't even ready to compete -- that's what Shanahan told Rich Eisen.

The 49ers have made it clear they want to be patient with Lance, who will turn 21 on May 9. That's why they've kept Jimmy Garoppolo.

But Lance's development can't depend on Garoppolo's performance or availability, because Garoppolo gets injured frequently and misses lots of games. What if Garoppolo gets injured before the 49ers deem Lance fit to play and they're forced to throw him out there him anyway, and then he falls on his face?

What a disaster that would be.

Fortunately for the 49ers, they won't have to play Lance if Garoppolo gets injured early in the season, because they have someone else who can start while Lance prepares himself.

Josh Rosen.

Rosen is only 24, he's a former top 10 pick and he has started 16 games in his career. So let's say the 49ers determine Lance won't be ready to start until 2022, but Garoppolo gets injured Week 5 of 2021. In that case, Rosen could finish out the season as the starter, and the 49ers could stick to their process of developing Lance, which might include playing him for one or two series per game until he can take over full time.

Which means for the time being, Lance should be the No. 3 quarterback, and Rosen should be the buffer protecting him from playing too early.

Thank goodness the 49ers have Rosen.