Young: Shanahan culpable for Lance injury is ‘goofball question'


With Trey Lance set to miss the rest of the 2022 NFL season after breaking his ankle, opinions have been flying about whether 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan shoulders any blame because of the play call on which Lance got hurt on. 

While there are many that place blame on Shanahan for Lance's injury, 49ers great Steve Young believes that the finger-pointing is unwarranted. 

"Look, it's football, and running quarterbacks out of the huddle is dangerous," Young said Thursday on KNBR 680's "Tolbert & Copes." "Remember last year when Trey played against the Cardinals, I think he [Shanahan] ran him 13 times out of the huddle.

"I mean, we all kind of [thought], 'Really, is that what we're doing?' "

What's more, Young says that because Lance has so few carries in the NFL, perhaps the 49ers might have overestimated his ability as a runner. 

"Running him ... was going to be in the cards," Young continued. "And so I worry that Trey -- there's guys that can run because they understand how to get down and get out of trouble, and there's guys that don't."

Moreover, Young defended Shanahan's play call and said that those blaming the latter are asking "goofball questions."

"We believed that he was that guy," Young explained. "And I believe that they believed that Trey could do that ... a quarterback run for Trey Lance? That's part of the deal, isn't it?"

Young then went on to say that because of how this one play turned out, the 49ers' coaching staff might have to rethink their strategy in utilizing Lance. 

"My point is maybe going forward when Trey gets back on the field, now we realize it might not be the thing that really he's comfortable doing because we're finding this out ... But isn't that part of the deal we made with Trey is that we believed he was a guy that could do that?" Young concluded. 

RELATED: 49ers' Lance vows to 'attack' rehab after ankle surgery

Questions about Lance's ability to run will continue to get raised throughout the rest of the season and beyond until the young quarterback can silence his critics. 

That said, with a motivated Jimmy Garoppolo back under center and leading the team, perhaps those questions will temporarily be silenced and give Lance the space to continue rehabbing in peace. 

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