Warner excited for Lance's opportunity in 49ers offseason


Another 49ers offseason means another quarterback competition. This time, between former first-round pick Trey Lance and former seventh-round pick Brock Purdy.

That is, of course, barring a surprise addition of a star quarterback.

Lance began the 2022 NFL season as San Francisco's starter under center before suffering a season-ending ankle injury in Week 2, giving way to veteran Jimmy Garoppolo, who then suffered a season-ending foot injury in Week 13 and gave way to Purdy, the rookie.

The No. 262 pick then tore his UCL in the 49ers' NFC Championship Game loss, leaving San Francisco without a healthy starting quarterback heading into a critical offseason. 

Fortunately for the 49ers, Lance has begun throwing and should be fully cleared for the offseason program and OTAs in May and June, which should give him a head start. Meanwhile, Purdy likely will remain out until late July/early August. 

Fred Warner, a teammate and veteran 49ers linebacker, joined the "Bussin' With the Boys" podcast during Super Bowl LVII media week, where he was asked who he believes will be San Francisco's starter next season. Warner declined to answer, but did express his excitement for Lance's recovery and the opportunity he has this offseason. 

"Yeah, unfortunately for Trey, he hasn't had the best end of the stick," Warner said. "It's kind of like every time he's been out there -- you talk about this season, he went out there the first game in a monsoon, second game he gets hurt, breaks his ankle. 

"But yeah, just hasn't had the best end of the stick, but I'm excited for him to get an [opportunity] now in the offseason program just to take the reigns and we'll see what happens."

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Purdy reportedly will undergo surgery to repair his torn UCL on Friday. And if the initial timeline is correct, he will not be able to throw for the first three months post-surgery before beginning a three-month ramp-up period that should have him cleared before or shortly after the start of training camp.

Which means at least for the next six months, Lance sits atop the 49ers' depth chart with a clear runway to prove worthy of the starting nod. 

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