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Trey Lance likely to start for the San Francisco 49ers Sunday

Vincent Frank

San Francisco 49ers rookie quarterback Trey Lance saw his first extensive regular-season action in last week’s loss to the Seattle Seahawks.

The No. 3 overall pick entered the game to open the third quarter after starter Jimmy Garoppolo went down with a calf injury late in the first half.

Garoppolo’s injury was at first deemed to be of the multi-week variety. However, recent suggestions are that it’s not as severe as initially expected.

Even then, the Super Bowl quarterback missed his second consecutive day of practice on Thursday — a clear indication that he will not be able to go Sunday against the undefeated Arizona Cardinals.

Typically, players who are unable to practice on Thursday are not able to go that week. As for the 49ers and Garoppolo, head coach Kyle Shanahan has made it clear that the quarterback will not go if he isn’t close to 100%. Enter into the equation Mr. Lance.

Related: NFL Week 5 power rankings

Trey Lance poised to get first NFL start

san francisco 49ers qb trey lance to start week 5
Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Despite some issues with accuracy, this North Dakota State product looked pretty good in relief of Garoppolo last week. Lance completed 9-of-18 passes for 157 yards with two touchdowns, including a 76-yard scoring strike to Deebo Samuel. He added 41 rushing yards on seven attempts.

In limited playing time this season (46 snaps), Lance has actually tallied four total touchdowns against zero interceptions.

With that said, it’s rather obvious that he’s the most raw of the five rookie first-round quarterbacks. Playing small-school college ball while missing out on the 2020 season has led to a relatively deep learning curve.

For San Francisco, this isn’t necessarily the most ideal of scenarios. The team has lost two consecutive games since starting the season with a 2-0 record. It must travel to the desert to take on the only remaining undefeated team in the NFL.

The more ideal scenario would have been for Lance to get the start Week 7 at home against the Indianapolis Colts following the 49ers Week 6 bye. Alas, that’s not going to happen.

Now, Trey Lance will be thrown into the fire. It should be interesting.