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NFL: Niners considered starting Lance in key games

The San Francisco 49ers were close to starting rookie quarterback Trey Lance in their opening and closing regular-season games, according to an NFL reporter.

The 49ers, who have indicated it's time for Lance to succeed the experienced Jimmy Garoppolo, are 12/1 to win Super Bowl LVII next year.

49ers went big for Lance

The organisation spent a hefty chunk of their 2021 draft capital to move up in order to take the ex-North Dakota State quarterback at three overall.

Lance was given opportunities in their preseason games but an untimely injury in their final tune up clash with the Las Vegas Raiders in August meant that Garoppolo held onto the starting job. 

"He was in consideration, actually, to start going into the season until he got hurt in that preseason game where he injured the index finger on his throwing hand," reporter Jim Trotter told NFL Network on Thursday.

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Lance emerges as contender

The rookie triggerman did make two regular-season starts for the 49ers and looked composed as he finished with 249 yards, two touchdowns and one interception on 16-of-23 passing against the Houston Texans in Week 17.

That performance put him firmly in the conversation to keep Garoppolo on the bench for the must-win regular-season finale against the Los Angeles Rams, but head coach Kyle Shanahan went with the older and wiser option. 

"There was even a discussion about possibly starting him in that final regular-season game," Trotter added, citing sources. "But ultimately, the team decided that Jimmy had led them to that point, and they were going to stay there. And that's what they did."

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