What Kyle Shanahan's evaluating in Trey Lance, Jimmy Garoppolo decision

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What Shanahan is evaluating from Jimmy G, Lance in QB decision originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

COSTA MESA -- Quarterback Trey Lance did not take any snaps with the 49ers’ first-team offensive line Thursday in joint practice with the Los Angeles Chargers.

But 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan indicated that could change on Friday.

“I’d like to get him reps with the ones, eventually,” Shanahan said, noting he would like to see the rookie go up against the Chargers’ starters, including defensive end Joey Bosa and safety Derwin James.

Veteran quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and Lance had similar days in the first of two practices between the 49ers and Chargers. The teams meet Sunday in the second preseason game for both teams.

“They’re competing their (butts) off and they’re doing a good job,” Shanahan said. “It’s not about one guy versus the other guy. It’s about, how good can Trey be? How good can Jimmy be?

“Both of them, when you go through camp, when you go through games, when you go through practices, it’s up and down throughout the whole thing. So that’s why I don’t sit (and say), ‘Who’s ahead of the other, what’s going on’ after each practice. “

Shanahan has not officially named a starting quarterback for the regular season. Every snap Garoppolo has taken this summer has been with the No. 1 offensive line. Lance has taken three snaps with the starting line — all running plays.

“They both bring different elements to our team,” Shanahan said. “Both of them, I believe, can play at a high level. And I’m trying to see which one does that the best for us.”

Garoppolo completed 9 of 17 pass attempts on the day, while Lance was 13 of 18 in 11-on-11 drills, not including two spikes to stop the clock in a two-minute drill. Lance also took more sacks than Garoppolo.

Garoppolo provided the best play from the 49ers’ offense when he hit speedy veteran wide receiver Travis Benjamin with a 50-yard touchdown over three Chargers defenders in close proximity. 

Lance and Garoppolo threw interceptions in back-to-back series.

Under pressure, Lance sidestepped the rush, likely would have been sacked, and L.A. cornerback Kemon Hall intercepted his pass intended for Brandon Aiyuk. A short time later, Garoppolo’s throw for Richie James was intercepted by rookie cornerback Asante Samuel Jr.

On the final play of that red-zone period, Garoppolo hit tight end Charlie Woerner for a 5-yard touchdown pass. Lance found tight end Ross Dwelley for a 10-yard touchdown in a red-zone drill.

The 49ers’ first-team offense did not pick up any first downs passing in a two-minute drill.

Lance and the second-team offense moved the ball 36 yards on 10 plays in their two-minute drill, which kicker Robbie Gould capped with a 51-yard field goal. Lance’s big play was an 18-yard completion to veteran tight end MyCole Pruitt on a fourth-and-6 play.

Here are other notes and observations from the 49ers’ offensive side of the ball:

—Wide receiver Jalen Hurd did not practice as he continues to be bothered by tendinitis, Shanahan said. Hurd has not practiced since last Thursday, when he caught three passes in his best showing, yet.

The 49ers plan to “shut down” Hurd through the weekend and see if they can get him healthy for the week of the team’s third and final exhibition game, Shanahan said.

— The 49ers would like to keep three quarterbacks, with Nate Sudfeld as the third, Shanahan said. “We have three guys who can play, so I’d definitely like to, but that’s the tough thing about the 53,” he said.

— Wide receiver Jauan Jennings continued his push for a roster spot with a strong day. It started when he shook free for a couple of deep receptions during a one-on-one period. After catching a deep pass on Chargers cornerback Donte Vaughn, Jennings excitedly yelled, “Postin’ up in your ‘hood.”

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Jennings had two receptions, both from Lance, in 11-on-11 work.

Shanahan said Jennings’ work ethic and spirit are helping him make a legitimate bid to win a roster spot. Shanahan shows the team clips of effort plays every morning to show the players who are doing things the right way.

“I highlight stuff every single morning to the team, so whoever gives me the most stuff as examples, I always show,” Shanahan said. “Jauan has had a lot of clips in the last few days.”

— Rookie guard Aaron Banks could return for the 49ers’ final preseason game next week against the Las Vegas Raiders. Shanahan said he believed Banks had a minor AC joint sprain of his shoulder in the 49ers’ preseason opener. He could be available to return in two weeks.

— Chargers linebacker Kyzir White opened practice with a hard hit and tackle against Raheem Mostert on a running play, after which Shanahan had some words for the fourth-year player.

“Ah, he was excited,” Shanahan said. “I told him to save his energy a little bit. It was just one tackle. He was real cool. I went up and said, ‘We’re not taking guys to the ground,’ and he didn’t mean to. It was cool after that.”

RELATED: The Choice: Lance’s flawless freshman season built his NDSU legend

— Although pass-rushers for both teams were told not to swipe at the football when it was in the hands of the quarterback, Joey Bosa did it on a play during a two-minute drill. It was one of two sacks Garoppolo took during the drill.

“I never want to give up sacks, and we gave up a couple, which is always tough in two minute,” Shanahan said. “But I always want to challenge our guys to get better. I wish we did a little bit better today, but nothing to overreact about.”

— Left tackle Trent Williams had his knee drained and will not take part in the practices against the Chargers or in Sunday’s game. Shanahan said he expects Williams to be ready for Week 1. Rookie Jaylon Moore lined up with the first-team O-line on Thursday.

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