San Francisco 49ers QB Trey Lance has only taken significant reps in three games this season, but is he playing against the Packers? With Jimmy Garoppolo facing multiple injuries, many believe Lance will see the field. Let’s take a look at the rookie’s status for the 49ers’ Divisional Round matchup in Green Bay.
Will Trey Lance play tonight vs. the Packers?
Lance is healthy but is unlikely to start the game tonight against the Packers. The question marks come from growing concerns over Garoppolo’s health status.
Garoppolo was already dealing with a thumb injury on his throwing hand and is now facing a shoulder injury. Many are wondering why the 49ers want to continue to force Jimmy G into the game when they have a perfectly healthy first-round pick on the sidelines.
Should Lance be on the field?
Lance’s two and a half games played this season — plus the touchdown throw against the Lions in Week 1 — have led to him throwing a grand total of 71 passes as a rookie. Aaron Rodgers, the Niners’ opponent tonight, has thrown 7,848 for perspective.
Would it be right to put Lance in as the starter with the season on the line, given his limited experience? They’re also playing on the road, in an extremely cold Lambeau Field, where snow or — at a minimum — heavy winter atmosphere is expected. The Packers have not lost this season at home, and it’s not going to get any easier to beat them there in the playoffs.
Impatience on the West Coast
Some San Francisco fans have grown impatient with Jimmy G and want to see Lance take over ahead of the offseason. A decision will need to be made on Garoppolo once the season does end, and without seeing much of Lance in game-day situations, that decision might be a little harder to make.
I’ve seen complaints and frustration from the 49ers’ fan base, questioning why they spent so much draft capital on Lance if he’s not going to play. A case can certainly be made, sure. But was the plan ever to play him much in Year 1? I don’t believe so.
However, given this week’s circumstances, I do tend to agree. Why not play Lance? Garoppolo’s grit and determination to play has been admirable, but he’s also not been perfect and struggled against the Cowboys. In addition, he’s clearly banged up.
Lance is healthy and could kick start his 49ers career with a triumphant win, taking down Aaron Rodgers and the Packers on their home turf.
Green Bay’s extra preparation
One thing that will benefit the 49ers is the fact that the Packers will have to prepare for both quarterbacks. I can see Lance getting on the field in at least some circumstances because of the different possibilities he brings. If the Packers are not well prepared to see much of Lance, he may find some success.
I wonder how much of a drop-off, if any, this 49ers offense faces if they play Lance over Jimmy. I don’t think the margin between them is that large at all. If anything, there is more upside for a splash play with Lance at QB. I’d like to see him get on the field in some capacity. Should he start, it would be an excellent opportunity to win the hearts of the San Francisco faithful.