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Per Kyle Shanahan: Trey Lance will start Sunday against Raiders

Don’t expect many starters at all.

NFL: San Francisco 49ers Training Camp Robert Edwards-USA TODAY Sports

With the San Francisco 49ers already making it known Brock Purdy won’t be playing on Sunday against the Las Vegas Raiders in their first preseason game of the season, the question came on who would be starting things off, we have an answer. Joining KNBR’s “Tolbert and Copes” show, 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan said that Trey Lance will get the start with Sam Darnold playing most of the second half.

“It’s not set in stone, it can always change. But right now, we’re trying to plan on giving Trey most of the first half and Sam most of the second half. We wanted to balance it out that way. I rarely play starters in Week 1. I have before. It usually depends on how those two practices (49ers/Raiders joint practices) go. And we had two real hard practices that we were real happy with. So I don’t plan on playing many starters, so we’ll have a couple of groups in there. But we’ve got enough guys that can go out there and hopefully make some plays for both quarterbacks.”

So there you have it. That’s going to be the agenda. With Shanahan’s statement that he’s not going to play many starters, don’t be looking to see much of the 2023 San Francisco 49ers on Sunday. Week 1 of the preseason is usually very brief for starters anyways as the risk to get injured far outweighs the reward of getting live game reps.

It’s Preseason Week 1 so many will watch anyways as it’s just a chance to see the red and gold back on a football field, even if it’s an uninspiring game.

That said, hopefully we get to see another chapter of Kicker Kombat with Jake Moody and Zane Gonzalez battling it out for kicker glory. We also will get a look of some of the other second stringers that we wouldn’t otherwise.

I’m still watching Sunday just because I want to see Trey Lance (and Sam Darnold by extension) in extended gameday action. Even if he’s fighting for the QB2 role, it will make everyone feel a bit better about what may happen if Purdy were to get injured. The 49ers have been cursed at the quarterback position so knowing they’ll be in good hands in case of disaster will let me rest easy.

Then again, the offensive gameplans for preseason are very vanilla with little game planning so anything you see should be taken with a grain of salt.