The first two seasons of Trey Lance’s NFL career have not gone according to plan. The San Francisco 49ers traded a treasure trove of draft picks to move up and select him No. 3 overall but they have yet to get a return on that investment. Injuries have been a major reason why.
49ers’ head coach Kyle Shanahan recently revealed that Trey Lance spent his entire rookie season unable to grip the football as he normally would because of a fractured index finger suffered during the preseason. The injury didn’t heal correctly, which led to him having to change how he held and threw the football.
“He spent a whole year throwing without a bent finger, which changed everything and shows the toughness of the kid that he never complained about it,” Shanahan said. “He tried to adjust so he could be out there.”
Heading into Year 2, it was Trey Lance’s time to shine. The starting job was his and the entire offense was revamped around his skill set. Unfortunately, bad luck struck again as he suffered a season-ending ankle injury in Week 2.
Trey Lance has since been passed by Brock Purdy for the team’s starting job, but he is also dealing with an injury. Purdy’s elbow was injured in the NFC Championship Game against the Philadelphia Eagles and his return to the field is up in the air.
That has presented Trey Lance with another opportunity to showcase his talent and secure, at the very least, the No. 2 job behind Purdy. He is taking full advantage, as Shanahan said this is the healthiest he has been since joining the franchise.
“He was able to get such a better base in these last two months that I think Trey is the best that we’ve (seen) him right now,” Shanahan said, via NBC Sports Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco. “Yeah, we got to get into OTAs and practice, but when you watch his feet, his timing, how he’s throwing the ball, he’s in such a better place now than he was last year at this time.”
Trey Lance spent time this offseason working out with Kansas City Chiefs star, MVP Patrick Mahomes, which has also led to positive changes on the field.
With his confidence seemingly on the rise, Trey Lance has a chance to get his career back on track. While he may not be the long-term starter for the 49ers right now, all of his offseason work and practice tape could be an audition for a starting job elsewhere around the league with franchises always looking for quarterback help.