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#pounditThursday, September 21, 2023

Old injury has caused 1 big issue for Trey Lance

Trey Lance holds a ball

Sep 11, 2022; Chicago, Illinois, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Trey Lance (5) drops back to pass against the Chicago Bears during the first quarter at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports

Trey Lance has spent the last several months recovering from a severe ankle injury, but apparently the San Francisco 49ers quarterback has had an even more difficult time bouncing back from an ailment that seemed much more minor.

Lance suffered what looked like a fairly insignificant finger injury in the third preseason game ahead of his rookie year in 2021. It was initially described as a “chip” and believed to be a one-week injury, but Lance did not make his NFL debut until Week 5 that season.

The injury turned out to be a hairline fracture. Niners head coach Kyle Shanahan spoke about the situation at the Dwight Clark Legacy Series event on Wednesday night, and he said Lance’s finger never healed properly. The former No. 3 overall pick had to completely change the way he gripped the ball, which likely hindered his development.

“He spent a whole year throwing without a bent finger which changed everything and shows the toughness of the kid that he never complained about it,” Shanahan said, via Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area. “He tried to adjust so he could be out there.”

Shanahan insists the finger is no longer an issue for Lance, but it obviously was a huge one at one point. While Lance never used the finger ailment as an excuse, it sounds like it may have seriously impacted his accuracy.

Lance entered last season as San Francisco’s starter, but his ankle injury paved the way for Brock Purdy. Though Purdy is recovering from elbow surgery, the Niners have made it clear they are fully committed to him. With the way their QB situation has unfolded over the last two years, it would hardly be a shock to see Lance under center at some point in 2023.


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