King speculates about Lance's QB1 security with Shanahan originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
Even as confident as San Francisco is with their 22-year-old signal-caller, he doesn't have free reign to play without consequences. That begs the question, how long is Lance's leash in his first full season under coach Kyle Shanahan?
NBC Sports NFL columnist Peter King joined 95.7 The Game's "Damon & Ratto" on Wednesday, where he speculated as to when Shanahan might be forced to bench Lance at any point during the season if things go awry.
"I don't think you can say, in part because we are not going to be in there," King said. "We are not going to be in the meetings, we are not going to be watching the film. If he makes, over and over again makes fatal mistakes that an NFL quarterback shouldn't be making -- I doubt this will happen -- but if he does that, Kyle Shanahan is going to have to do it just for the good of the team, you can't just say, 'Hey, we're investing all this time in this kid and we don't care if we win or lose, this is a year that we are giving him to be good.'"
King doesn't believe it will come to this, but if Shanahan has to make a mid-season change at quarterback, it would be a whole lot easier if there were a veteran such as Jimmy Garoppolo to fall back on. That doesn't appear likely at all given Shanahan and general manager John Lynch repeatedly claiming they expect Garoppolo to be elsewhere this season. If there is no Garoppolo to fall back on, Shanahan might be forced to weather the storm with Lance a little bit longer.
"Look, Kyle Shanahan is an extremely smart coach, he knows how to hide deficiencies on his roster, including how to hide deficiencies at the quarterback position," King added. "I think the second part of your question needs to be, and I believe most likely that Jimmy Garoppolo is not there. But what if he is there? What if Jimmy Garoppolo is on the roster and they have him to turn to if things get really really bad?
"It's one thing if you've got him to turn to. If he's not there, then I think Shanahan would have a different decision."
Of course, Lance has yet to play in a game this season, so this is all hypothetical and very well could be an irrelevant discussion sooner rather than later.
It does beg the question, though: Do the 49ers have a "break glass in case of an emergency" plan? Will they even need one? Only time will tell.