The competition between Sam Darnold and Trey Lance to serve as Brock Purdy’s backup quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers appears to be over.
According to Ian Rapoport and Tom Peliserro of NFL Network, Sam Darnold has won the job.
This further puts the future of former No. 3 overall pick Trey Lance in some doubt. pic.twitter.com/ig7PVp4lgn
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 23, 2023
There are a variety of reasons why it hasn’t worked out for Lance in San Francisco, starting with injuries.
During his rookie training camp, Lance was pushing Jimmy Garoppolo throughout; however, a finger injury suffered in the final preseason game lingered throughout his first year. As a result, Lance was forced to learn a new grip and his accuracy suffered.
Beyond the finger, Lance suffered a knee injury in his first start against Arizona a few weeks later.
Handed the starting job for 2022, Lance lasted just five quarters before being lost for the season with an ankle injury. Lance lost valuable playing time as a result, then Brock Purdy came in to replace Jimmy Garoppolo in week 13 and took the job.
What’s next for Lance is anybody’s guess. The 49ers invested three first round picks to take the quarterback third overall in the 2021 NFL draft. Diana Russini of The Athletic has reported the 49ers have been shopping Lance for much of the offseason but never received any significant offers.
According to Mike Silver, the 49ers were offered a fifth-round pick for Lance prior to the draft, and they turned it down. It’s hard to see them getting anything more now despite the improvement shown during this training camp.