NFL | NINERS

Niners coach Shanahan reaffirms Garoppolo is starting QB, Trey Lance back-up

San Francisco 49ers Kyle Shanahan insisted there is "no battle" between Jimmy Garoppolo and Trey Lance for the starting QB position.

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Niners coach Shanahan reaffirms Garoppolo is starting QB, Trey Lance back-up
Thearon W. Henderson AFP

San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan has made it clear that Jimmy Garoppolo is the franchise’s starting quarterback while rookie and 2021 Draft first round pick Trey Lance, will remain as back up.

Having impressed in preseason camp, Lance burst onto the scene with an 80-yard touchdown pass for Trent Sherfield against the Kansas City Chiefs in preseason game one. But his overall performance over three preseason games was unconvincing, meaning Shanahan will be in no rush to uproot Garappolo, under whom Lance will learn the ropes in his rookie season.

"Trey's our backup quarterback. This isn't the preseason," the Niners coach said. "We're not just going back and forth all the time. Trey goes in for specific plays or things we want to do.

"Trey week in and week out he gets better each week the more reps he gets on scout team. But there's not a big decision going into that each week."

Garoppolo injury history

Garoppolo's career has been plagued by injury. The quarterback suffered a torn ACL tear in his left knee that cost him the last 13 games of the 2018 season, and later suffered a third-degree sprain to his right ankle, which kept him out of 10 games of the 2020 season. Given Garoppolo’s injury history, Lance will remain on standby and ready to step in if needed.

"We put in a game plan for our starting quarterback, the backup needs to be able to do all of that if he gets hurt," Shanahan said.

"And what's cool about Trey is because of his different skill set we always keep him alive with a couple of plays on situations."

No battle at QB position - Shanahan

The Niners head coach insists there is no battle at the quarterback position and, so far this season, San Francisco have been competitive with Garoppolo at the reins. The Eastern Illinois University graduate has chalked up 780 yards, four TD passes and a 67.4% completion rate after the first three games of the season.

"No, 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. So, hopefully we won't have to."

Having won their first two games, the Niners will look to bounce back after last weekend’s defeat to the Green Bay Packers when they host the Seattle Seahawks this Sunday.