Trey Lance

Lance happier, in ‘great spot' ahead of third 49ers season

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Trey Lance has a new, happier outlook as he heads into his third NFL season with the 49ers. 

The former No. 3 overall pick of the 2021 NFL Draft spoke to NBC Sports Bay Area for the latest "49ers Talk" while attending George Kittle’s Tight End University in Nashville, Tenn., sharing how much happier he is looking ahead to the 2023 season.

“Yeah, absolutely,” Lance said. “I’m in a great spot physically, mentally and just excited for this year.”

The North Dakota State product has faced multiple challenges since joining the 49ers, including a broken finger suffered in the preseason of his rookie year. Then, just 16 snaps into Week 2 of the 2022 NFL season while still dealing with the lingering effects of the finger injury, the signal-caller suffered a season-ending ankle injury. 

Now, finally fully healthy, Lance is ready to show what he is capable of on the field.

“I like to play,” Lance said. “That’s why I came here, so it’s definitely hard when I don’t get that opportunity, and last year was part of it. Just a bump in the road and I’ll be better for it.”

Lance took advantage of the gathering of tight ends to build chemistry with Kittle and work on his timing. Fellow 49ers quarterback Sam Darnold, along with former San Francisco signal-callers Nick Mullens (Minnesota Vikings) and C.J. Beathard ( Jacksonville Jaguars), were in the mix at the two-day event as well.

Lance also took advantage of the time off the field watching film while Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, NFL alum Greg Olsen and Kittle discussed teaching moments with the over 70 players in attendance.

“Just hearing them talk in the meeting room,” Lance said. “Hearing Travis go through the freedom he has versus guys in different offenses. How they see the game, I think, is the biggest thing that I picked up.”

Lance will have more opportunities to work with Kittle and the rest of the 49ers' offense when veterans report to Santa Clara on July 25 for training camp. Until then, the quarterback plans on heading home to Minnesota to spend the Fourth of July holiday with family before traveling to Dallas for the remainder of the offseason. 

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