Rookie quarterback Trey Lance will make his first career start Sunday when the San Francisco 49ers visit the Arizona Cardinals after Jimmy Garoppolo was unable to practice Friday for the third straight day.
Garoppolo suffered a calf injury and did not play the second half of last Sunday’s loss to the Seattle Seahawks. Lance, the No. 3 overall draft pick in April, took over for Garoppolo to start the second half and completed 9 of 18 passes for 157 yards and two touchdowns.
On Thursday, coach Kyle Shanahan said on KNBR Radio that if Garoppolo “looks good” in practice Friday, “then he’ll have a shot. If he can’t, then we’ll shut him down.”
General manager John Lynch doubled down on that assessment Friday morning, saying on the same radio station that, “I think today is critical. If (Garoppolo doesn’t practice) today, then we go with Trey.”
Garoppolo was ruled out on the Niners’ official injury report Friday afternoon, but it was unclear if any more would need to be done, such as a move to injured reserve.
Star tight end George Kittle, who’s also dealing with a calf injury, was listed as doubtful. Defensive linemen Javon Kinlaw (knee) and Samson Ebukam (hamstring) are questionable.
Cornerback K’Waun Williams (calf) was already ruled out by Shanahan.
Lance’s opponent for his first career start, Arizona, is the only 4-0 team in the NFL.
He’ll become the final quarterback of the five drafted in the first round last spring to make his first start — joining Trevor Lawrence (Jacksonville), Zach Wilson (New York Jets), Justin Fields (Chicago) and Mac Jones (New England).
–Field Level Media