Shanahan ‘excited' for focused Lance to get back to work


PHOENIX — Kyle Shanahan shared Trey Lance is excited and ready for the task at hand heading into the 2023 NFL offseason. 

The 49ers coach shared at the NFL Annual Meeting that he has been in regular communication with Lance, as the young quarterback goes through the process of returning from an ankle injury suffered in Week 2 of the 2022 season. 

“His rehab is going well,” Shanahan said Tuesday. “He started throwing. He’s been traveling around working with some quarterback coaches and throwing the ball. I’m excited to get into Phase 1 so we can start working together.”  

Lance and newly signed free-agent quarterback Sam Darnold will split reps while Brock Purdy recovers from surgery to repair his ulnar collateral ligament. Lance will have the opportunity to show what he is capable of when the team reconvenes on April 17. 

“I expect them both to get first-team reps, but I like to see them in Phase 1 and see how they come in,” Shanahan said. “We get to go on the field with them in Phase 2 and OTAs, and I expect them both to work with the first team.”  

Shanahan shared that the North Dakota State product is fully locked in and aware of what he needs to prove to reclaim the starting role under center in the future. The coach added that Lance’s attitude throughout the process has been positive.  

“As good as it can be,” Shanahan said. “Trey is a great person, but he’s also smart, and he knows what he saw. He knows the level that Brock played at, so he understands that. I talk to Trey the same way I’m talking to you guys, so he gets it.” 

Purdy’s progress and recovery timeline will be more solidified after a three month post-surgery evaluation. Until then, it will be Lance’s chance to shine. 

While both Shanahan and 49ers general manager John Lynch have stated Purdy has done enough to earn the role of clubhouse leader, the brain trust still believes in the No. 3 overall pick of the 2021 NFL Draft. Lance simply needs to get more reps under his belt. 

“I think Trey is just excited to be healthy, come in and get those reps and show us what he can do,” Shanahan said. 

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The club expects to bring in another quarterback to take reps on the field until Purdy is ready to return, either through the  2023 NFL Draft or free agency. 

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