Trey Lance may be the San Francisco 49ers’ starting quarterback in 2022 — head coach Kyle Shanahan has made no bones about that — but if Lance, the second-year man from North Dakota State, wants to be a team captain, he’ll have to earn it. Because as much as it’s common to make your starting quarterback a captain, that didn’t happen when the 49ers announced theirs on Wednesday.
The list of captains, per our friends at Niners Wire, is fairly formidable.
DL Arik Armstead
DE Nick Bosa
TE George Kittle
FS Jimmie Ward
LB Fred Warner
LT Trent Williams
“I just didn’t want to put seven on there,” Shanahan said of Lance’s omission. “Deebo (Samuel) was eight. … We just wanted to go with six. They don’t allow eight to the coin toss, I don’t believe. It’s also his first year of starting for us. There’s not many rookies who end up being the captains. I know this is his second year, but he’s a rookie for us in terms of this is his first time being our starting quarterback.”
If Lance was upset by it, he certainly didn’t let on.
Trey isn't bothered by not being named a team captain pic.twitter.com/kHyTgk65yR
— 49ers on NBCS (@NBCS49ers) September 7, 2022
“Obviously, that’s a goal of mine, but I don’t think you can look at any six of those guys and be like, ‘That guy’s a bozo,’ because those guys have played football at a very, very high level. So yeah, the situations are different. I voted for every single one of those guys, so I think each and every one of them deserves it. But yeah, it’s definitely a goal of mine moving forward. But those guys have all proved it, and that’s what this league is all about.”
No bozos, indeed, and if the 49ers were to name a seventh team captain, I think we can all agree that Deebo Samuel would be the better choice at this point. For Lance, Job 1 is to overcome an iffy preseason to define his new role as the marquee guy on the roster of a potential Super Bowl contender, captain or not.
That process gets underway on Sunday when the 49ers take on the Bears at Soldier Field.