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49ers in Five: Is Kyle Shanahan telling the truth about his plan for Trey Lance?

Everything you need to know in 5 minutes

On Monday, Kyle Shanahan told us one thing about whether he has a plan for deploying Trey Lance. On Tuesday, Jimmy Garoppolo seemingly contradicted that point on the Rich Eisen Show.

Here’s a question and answer from Monday’s conference call with Kyle Shanahan:

“Was the plan not to use QB Trey Lance against the Eagles or did the way the game unfold prevent you from inserting him for a few plays?

No, I never have a plan that ‘Hey, I’m going to use him or I’m not going to use him.’ It’s always an option throughout the game. It’s been two games and I’ve never had him in the openers and I’ve never had him as a designated time. I plan on doing that week-to-week and whenever I feel like putting him in. You saw when I did in Week 1 and I never got that urge in Week 2.”

On Tuesday, Jimmy Garoppolo appeared on the Rich Eisen Show and said otherwise (emphasis is mine):

“Are you aware prior to a game when you might come off the field for Trey Lance? Is that something you get a heads up before a game, or what? How does that work?

Uh, sort of. You kind of know what the situation is. The first game, we got into the red zone and then they brought Trey in. But this game we had planned for him to come in and it just didn’t end up working out that way. It’s kind of one of those things, you’ve got to be ready to roll and if he calls Trey in there, he calls Trey in there. It is what it is, but you can’t think about it too much, I’d say.”

This appears to be another classic example of an NFL head coach not telling the truth because he thinks it gives him a competitive advantage. Unfortunately it also appears to be another classic example of Kyle Shanahan saying things that don’t mesh with reality.

Lest you think I’m just parsing words, consider what Shanahan himself said on Sunday. At halftime of the game against the Eagles, Fox’s Shannon Spake asked Kyle if we’d see Trey Lance in the second half. Shanahan replied, “I don’t think so.”

If Kyle never has a plan on when he’s going to use Trey Lance, how did he know at halftime that he probably wouldn’t use him the rest of the day? Why did Jimmy Garoppolo think before the game even started that they planned to use Lance?

The larger point here is that the team’s messaging about this whole situation has stunk from the start. It started with Shanahan sending mixed signals in the summer and clearly has continued now that the regular season games have started.

From the second you decide to keep Jimmy Garoppolo on the roster, the team should have had a meeting about what the messaging was going to be regarding the situation. Right now, it certainly doesn’t look like everyone is on the same page when it comes to the future franchise quarterback.

For more on this and everything happening with the 49ers, make sure you download the 49ers in Five podcast.