Trey Lance

How Lance has impressed Williams throughout adverse NFL career

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SANTA CLARA — It’s not every day that a 23-year-old is going to impress Trent Williams, but 49ers quarterback Trey Lance has done just that.

The former No. 3 overall pick has had unfortunate luck in regard to injuries since entering the NFL, but how Lance has dealt with the adversity is what is most notable to the All-Pro left tackle.

“As opposed to sitting there and being down, which everybody could respect and everybody could say, ‘I get that. I understand.’ He didn’t,” Williams said on Wednesday. "For him to be that young and be that mature and handle things that well, I was impressed.”

In the final preseason game of the 2021 season, Lance injured his finger which negatively affected his throwing mechanics. Less than a year later the North Dakota State product was finally tapped as the starter for the club.

Not even before two weeks of the season had passed, Lance suffered a season-ending ankle injury.

Now-Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo took over the helm until a foot injury sidelined the veteran in Week 13 when Brock Purdy stepped in. Williams shared how Lance was present through it all.

“He was in Brock’s hip pocket,” Williams said. “Very attentive in meetings. Every meeting and walk-through he could attend, he was there. And he just always had a smile on his face. Always uplifting his teammates.”

Now fully healthy and having restored his throwing mechanics, Lance is ready to compete for a role on the team. Some players would ask to be traded, or express their dissatisfaction in other ways. That, however, is not in Lance’s wheelhouse.

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Instead, just as quarterbacks coach Brian Griese stated last week, Williams saw Lance affect the team in a positive way, without being on the field.

“Just being a great teammate,” Williams said. “We all know he was hit with an unfortunate situation and football, that’s the way the game is. One opportunity closes for somebody, and it opens for somebody else.”

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