Why Simms believes Lance will be 49ers' QB1 for 2023 season


Coming off a season going through four quarterbacks, the 49ers’ starter at the position remains unknown for the 2023 NFL season.

After rookie QB Brock Purdy sustained a complete tear of the UCL in his throwing elbow that will sideline him for the next six months, former NFL quarterback and NBC Sports analyst Chris Simms believes the job will be Trey Lance’s.

“By all due accounts, it looks that way right now,” Simms said on “Pro Football Talk Live” with Mike Florio. “Just because with the Brock Purdy situation, I don’t know when he’s going to be ready there. That will be a little while before he’s all systems go and can throw the ball to his total 100 percent capabilities.”

Although Simms is sure Lance will be San Francisco’s QB1, he believes the 49ers should bring in a veteran quarterback as insurance.

Lance, 22, hasn’t played a full season of football since the 2019 season when he was the starter at North Dakota State. He was set to start the following season before it was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In the 2021 NFL draft, the 49ers paid a hefty price to move up and select Lance No. 3 overall. He was the club’s first first-round QB since Alex Smith in 2005 and he was supposed to be the future.

And with a lot of pressure weighing on him since stepping foot in Santa Clara, injuries have told Lance’s NFL story so far and refrained him from showing his true potential. He was named the starter for San Francisco entering the 2022 season, but broke his ankle in Week 2 and missed the rest of the season. 

Simms thinks adding an experienced signal-caller can only benefit a team that's had its fair share of misfortune at the position. 

"I think this is a thing where a veteran quarterback is going to be discussed and talked about," Simms said. "[I] would be kind of shocked if there’s not one brought in that’s had some experience. And we’ll see if they can make some headway with Trey Lance this offseason and get him ready to be the starting quarterback.

"It’s rare, right? It’s one of the best teams in football and we’re not sure who the hell the quarterback’s going to be going into the next season.”

RELATED: What 49ers need to see out of Jackson to make D-line impact

Whatever happens, Lance says he'll be ready. All the NFL world can do is wait to see who lines up under center for the 49ers when Week 1 rolls around. 

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