John Lynch reveals how Trey Lance reacted to 49ers’ QB news originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area
Trey Lance’s NFL career did a full 180 on Wednesday.
From earning the 49ers’ starting quarterback job in 2022 to falling down the depth chart all the way to the third-string QB, Lance went from being the franchise guy to the backup’s backup in a flash.
Coach Kyle Shanahan broke the news to the 23-year-old Wednesday that Sam Darnold beat him out of the QB2 job, and soon after, Lance noticeably was absent from the team’s practice in Santa Clara.
“Trey handled it incredibly well, with class,” general manager John Lynch said on KNBR’s “Murph & Mac” Thursday morning. “He was devastated and rightly so. When you put your heart and soul into something and it doesn’t come to fruition you’re going to be devastated and that’s the type of competitor he is.”
Brock Purdy, the third-string QB entering the 2022 season, was named the starter for 2023 after an incredible rookie season that ended one win shy of Super Bowl LVII. But Purdy’s backup was a competition all throughout training camp. That was until Wednesday.
Lance’s practice absence came as a surprise to many, including his own teammate and 49ers captain Fred Warner. Shanahan explained Wednesday evening why both he and Lance mutually agreed for the quarterback to take the day off.
“Trey has put his heart and soul into this like almost all players do,” Shanahan said on KNBR’s “Tolbert & Copes” on Wednesday. “These are conversations I have to have with guys a lot — they’re never easy, they’re really tough. But it’s also tough when the spotlight’s on as much as it is with this situation with it being Trey, with it being our quarterback, his pick in the draft. So I knew that was hard on him.
“We had such a light practice today and watching how Trey was when we talked, we just thought it was better. ‘Hey, take the day off, get away a little bit, clear your head some and we’ll talk later in the afternoon and we’ll get you back in here tomorrow.’ Especially the practice we had today, it was our shortest one of the year, first time we didn’t do pads. Just felt it was the best thing for him.”
Lance, who the 49ers traded up for to select No. 3 overall in 2021, has faced tons of adversity since entering the league two years ago. Injuries have kept him off the field and derailed his development.
And the timing couldn’t have come at a worse time for the young signal-caller, as San Francisco and its win-now roster are on the hunt for getting back to the Super Bowl.
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