Report: Trey Lance, 49ers Will Host Aaron Rodgers, Packers in Week 3 for Home Opener

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVMay 12, 2021

CLEVELAND, OHIO - APRIL 29: Trey Lance poses with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell onstage after being selected third by the San Francisco 49ers during round one of the 2021 NFL Draft at the Great Lakes Science Center on April 29, 2021 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The San Francisco 49ers will reportedly host the Green Bay Packers for their 2021 home opener at Levi's Stadium in Week 3.

David Lombardi of The Athletic reported the matchup ahead of the NFL's full schedule release at 8 p.m. ET Wednesday.

The biggest question is who will be behind center for the teams when Week 3 arrives. The Niners are expected to have a quarterback competition between Jimmy Garoppolo and rookie Trey Lance, while the Packers are facing uncertainty as reigning MVP Aaron Rodgers has been the focus of trade rumors.

San Francisco made a blockbuster trade to acquire the No. 3 pick in the 2021 draft for the opportunity to select a new franchise quarterback. After the Jacksonville Jaguars chose Trevor Lawrence and the New York Jets grabbed Zach Wilson, the 49ers went for the upside of Lance.

The 21-year-old North Dakota State product emerged as a top prospect in 2019 by throwing for 28 touchdowns with zero interceptions across 16 appearances. He played just one game in 2020 before shifting his focus to draft preparation.

His dual-threat ability—he also rushed for 1,100 and 14 scores in 2019—and skill set are similar to that of the Buffalo Bills' Josh Allen, the seventh pick in 2018.

Allen went through ups and downs during his first two seasons before emerging as one of the NFL's top quarterbacks last season and finishing second in MVP voting behind Rodgers.

For now, it sounds like the Niners will take a more conservative route with Lance by having him sit behind Garoppolo, though it's always possible those plans will change before Week 1.

"It's going to be very hard for a rookie to come in and beat Jimmy Garoppolo out. He's a very good player," head coach Kyle Shanahan said last month. "That's why I like the situation that we are in. Now, we'll see where Trey's at. We'll see how he does at OTAs. I love that we're getting those. ... But Jimmy's our quarterback right now."

Meanwhile, the Packers offer the prime example of the importance of a franchise quarterback. If Rodgers stays, they'll be one of the top Super Bowl contenders. If he's traded, they'll likely be a fringe playoff team under the direction of second-year signal-caller Jordan Love.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Rodgers has "told some within the organization that he does not want to return to the team," but general manager Brian Gutekunst took a stand against a franchise-altering deal.

"We're not going to trade Aaron Rodgers," Gutekunst told reporters after the first round of the draft April 29.

Yahoo Sports' Charles Robinson reported May 1 that Rodgers "remains adamant that he won’t return to the team under the current stewardship" of Gutekunst.

The quarterback situations in San Francisco and Green Bay should be a lot clearer by the end of the preseason.

From a viewer's standpoint, Rodgers vs. Lance would represent the best potential quarterback matchup.