On one hand, Trey Lance is No. 1 on the depth chart. On the other hand, he has a guy who took the team to the Super Bowl hovering over his shoulder, unexpectedly.
Exiled during all of training camp and the preseason while the 49ers waited for a trade that never materialized, Jimmy Garoppolo is back. He’s moving in lock, stock, and barrel. He’ll be at practice. He’ll be in meeting rooms. He’ll be in uniform. He’ll be on the sideline, in the event Lance throws one or two too many errant passes, or makes one or two too many erroneous decisions.
So what will that do to Lance? Years ago, Ron Jaworski explained during his tenure with ESPN that a quarterback who worries about getting benched starts trying too hard, potentially making the prophecy self-fulfilling. If Lance is wondering whether the next mistake will be his last mistake, will he overthink things? Will he wait too long to get the ball to an open man? Will he grip it just a little too tightly?
Throw in the fact that the locker room loves Garoppolo (despite his reputation for not responding to calls or texts), and things could get a little awkward for Lance.
From the team’s perspective, perhaps the best way to justify that development is to say that, if Lance can’t function with Garoppolo still on the team, Lance won’t be able to make a big throw in a big spot of a big game. Which Garoppolo failed to do, frankly, during crunch time of Super Bowl LIV, when receiver Emmanuel Sanders was wide open for a go-ahead touchdown.
How will the re-embrace of Jimmy Garoppolo affect Trey Lance? originally appeared on Pro Football Talk