49ers fans may be eager to see Trey Lance on the field, but their hope for Week 2 of the preseason should be that he spends the game in street clothes. Any other outcome means something went wrong Thursday in their joint practice with the Minnesota Vikings.
Head coach Kyle Shanahan before the preseason began indicated Lance would only play the first and third preseason games, although that plan wasn’t necessarily set in stone. After Wednesday’s practice it sounds like it would take a disastrous Thursday session to have the second-year QB suiting up Saturday.
“Right now, I’m not expecting to, but we’re day-to-day with that, we’ll see how practice goes tomorrow,” Shanahan said after Wednesday’s practice. “And there’s a chance he will, but that was the original plan.”
Shanahan has consistently iterated that he values the joint practices more than the preseason games. He also said Lance had a good first outing vs. the Vikings’ defense.
“Trey’s done a good job,” Shanahan said. “I thought he had a good day today and we’re in the middle of camp, so you have some good, some bad, but he’s getting better throughout the whole process.”
A good Wednesday means he’d probably have to have a pretty abysmal Thursday outing to get into Saturday’s game.
If he’s not playing Saturday it means he put together good enough consecutive days against another team to make Shanahan confident that he doesn’t need the additional reps.
It’s also a sign of Lance’s development. Shanahan has been adamant that Lance just needs reps to continue getting better, but he’s reached a point where the head coach would be comfortable sitting him instead of getting him a handful of additional game snaps.
The 49ers would love for Lance to not play Saturday, and while it may be exciting to see No. 5 on the field, a much more positive sign for San Francisco would be for Lance to not be up for the second preseason contest.