SANTA CLARA -- The Trey Lance-to-Deebo Samuel connection appears to be right on track.
After a rough showing by the 49ers’ offense during Sunday’s shortened, non-padded practice, Lance and the passing game turned things around during Monday’s light day of work ahead of their flight to Minnesota later in the day.
With the pads back on and no fans in attendance, Lance immediately connected with Samuel on the first snap of 11-on-11 work with a deep out pass for a 20-yard gain. That was a sign of what was to come, as Lance went on to complete 79 percent of his passes on the day.
Lance went 11-for-14 Monday with no interceptions and displayed accuracy along the sidelines. Even one of his incompletions hit receiver Jauan Jennings in the hands over the middle for the first team's only drop. Another deep ball was nearly brought in by veteran receiver Willie Snead, but he couldn't keep his foot in bounds.
With Charvarius Ward, Emmanuel Moseley and Jimmie Ward absent from practice, Lance, Samuel and the rest of the first-team offense took advantage.
The 49ers’ first-year starting quarterback and Samuel have been building chemistry slowly ever since the star “wide back” signed his new contract extension and returned to practice. But on Monday, it became apparent that they’re officially finding their rhythm.
The first rep of the day got things started, and then the pair continued to impress as Lance connected with Samuel on several passes.
San Francisco 49ers
During his second series, Lance rolled out to his left under pressure and found Samuel outside the numbers on a 16-yard pass. There was an audible gasp from the pair’s teammates and others spectating later in practice as Samuel made a one-handed grab on a first-down pass from Lance.
And on Lance’s last throw of the day, Samuel provided a reminder of what he can do with the ball in his hands by evading defenders for a sizable gain on a screen pass.
Lance also connected with tight end George Kittle a couple of times Monday -- the second of which was a classic “Kittle over the Middle” 15-yard gain -- as well as wideout Brandon Aiyuk and fullback Kyle Juszczyk. Running backs Trey Sermon and Jeff Wilson Jr. took a majority of their snaps with the first-team offense, though they both saw reps with the second team as well.
On defense, defensive end Nick Bosa had at least one sack after applying pressure on nearly every rep and greeted Alex Barrett with a bear hug near the sideline after the 28-year-old recorded a would-be sack of his own. With three-quarters of the starting secondary out, however, things looked a bit different on the other side of the ball Monday.
With a good day of work under their belts, the 49ers after practice boarded their flight to Minnesota for joint practices with the Vikings on Wednesday and Thursday. Then, the two teams will face off at U.S. Bank Stadium on Saturday for their second preseason game.