Lance reveals mindset with Jimmy G's surprising 49ers return


SANTA CLARA -- From the outside, Jimmy Garoppolo returning as the 49ers' backup quarterback sounds like an awkward situation. But for Trey Lance, it has been a clear positive. 

Lance shared Thursday that he has always felt at ease with Garoppolo, starting from when the club selected the North Dakota State product with the No. 3 overall pick of the 2021 NFL Draft. Since news broke earlier this week that the veteran would be returning as a backup, Lance shared that there has been no conflict or tension.

"It was all love,” Lance said. “Nothing has changed between us. I can say it a million times, he’s been my big bro and nothing is going to change that. I know he’s got my back, I’ve got his back and I’m excited to go through this year with him.” 

Lance revealed that Garoppolo’s return did not come as a shock, given he saw the veteran’s name on the roster throughout training camp. The second-year play caller also said he was informed by coach Kyle Shanahan what the organization’s plans were as talks progressed and evolved. 

While everything in the NFL is a competition, Lance sees Garoppolo as someone who will help him adjust to his role as the starting quarterback of the team. Shanahan was very clear about the roles each quarterback would have going forward. 

“Just that nothing changes,” Lance said of his conversations with his head coach. "It makes the QB room all that much better. Another great resource for me. A guy who has played in this offense, a guy who has done it, who has played a lot of ball. He’s going to add a lot to our QB room.” 

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Garoppolo, who has been rehabbing on the side field since the start of training camp, rejoined the quarterback group in individual drills while practice was open to media. Lance said the mood was the same, and that while their roles have changed, their relationship has not. 

“It was super normal actually,” Lance said. “You guys probably wouldn’t even believe it, it was fun to have him around. He’s a high-energy guy, in the huddle, outside of the huddle, in the locker room. whatever it is, he’s a great guy to have around and I’m super glad he’s back.” 

The quarterbacks have a little more than a week will to prepare for their season opener in Garoppolo's hometown of Chicago on Sept. 11 against the Bears. 

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