After the 49ers' fifth day of training camp on Monday, head coach Kyle Shanahan was asked several questions about rookie quarterback Trey Lance and his potential standing against incumbent starter Jimmy Garoppolo.
While Lance has quickly made quite an impression with his teammates, Shanahan told reporters that he has no plans for anyone but Garoppolo to take first-team reps. In fact, the 49ers head coach said he would be “very surprised” if Lance were able to make enough strides to be the team’s Week 1 starter against the Detroit Lions.
Shanahan has previously said it would take a significant development for Lance to jump Garoppolo on the depth chart, and he expanded on those sentiments in Monday’s press conference.
“Yeah. I mean, I just think to look a lot better than the guy who’s been playing for a while and done everything in practice and in three preseason games where you’re not playing in all the games. And I think that would be pretty tough to do so I’m not trying to put that pressure on Trey. But I mean anybody who can pull stuff off, I mean, you’re going to see it that way. Jimmy has played too good, a football. He is too good of a player and Trey’s trying to learn everything right now and soak it all in. So that’s why I’d be very surprised if he was able to do that.”
Most onlookers have expected the 49ers to push Garoppolo aside for some time. Still, Shanahan and general manager John Lynch have insisted that they feel no pressure to move on from Jimmy G until another player forces their hand. Moreover, the organization still appears quite committed to that plan, at least in the early days of training camp.