San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan is encouraged by the development of rookie quarterback Trey Lance early into the 2021 NFL season.
Shanahan told reporters he thought Lance has "done a good job, looks like he's getting better each week" following Sunday's 28-21 loss to the Seattle Seahawks.
The 21-year-old finished 9-of-18 for 157 yards and two touchdowns after replacing an injured Jimmy Garoppolo. He also ran for 41 yards on seven carries. Shanahan said there was "some good, some bad":
"I thought he went in there for the most part — he got thrown in not expecting to get in — thought he ran the ball well. Hit some passes, obviously missed some passes, was in a tough situation there where we were down two scores. Did a good job moving the chains a couple of times with his legs. But looked like a typical first game."
While the extent of Garoppolo's injury remains unclear, he indicated he could be on the shelf for multiple weeks, so Lance may have to run the offense for a few games at the very least.
Many of his fellow 2021 draftees have struggled.
Zach Wilson has thrown four touchdowns to eight interceptions through four games. Davis Mills is coming off a 40-0 drubbing at the hands of the Buffalo Bills in which he went 11-of-21 for 87 yards and four picks. Even Trevor Lawrence, the surest thing in this year's QB class, has fallen short of expectations (873 yards, five touchdowns, seven interceptions).
Assuming he's under center in Week 5 against the Arizona Cardinals, perhaps Lance can buck the trend.