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#pounditWednesday, June 29, 2022

Trey Lance reveals he dealt with significant injury during rookie season

Trey Lance on the field

Dec 19, 2021; Santa Clara, California, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Trey Lance (5) smiles after defeating the Atlanta Falcons at Levi’s Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Trey Lance drew mixed reviews in the limited time he played during his rookie season last year. There were some questions about his accuracy both in practice and games, and it is now fair to wonder if a significant injury contributed to those struggles.

Lance suffered what looked like a fairly insignificant finger injury during the San Francisco 49ers’ third preseason game last year when he hit his hand on an opponent’s helmet. Head coach Kyle Shanahan described it as a “chip” and said Lance would only miss about a week. The No. 3 overall pick played in some packages over the first few weeks and made his first NFL start in Week 5.

There was no real indication that the injury was an issue. However, Lance told reporters on Tuesday that that he “kind of dealt with my finger throughout the season.” The injury, which was to Lance’s right index finger, made it so he had to change the way he threw the ball.

“I think the finger for me was the biggest thing just as far as throwing the ball. I kind of had to learn how to throw the ball differently without using my pointer finger I guess just because of where it was at throughout the year,” Lance said, via 49ers Webzone. “But now, I feel like I’m in a great spot health-wise and throwing the ball well and I feel really good.”

Lance said the injury was manageable but that he could not straighten his finger all the way.

“The process for me was it didn’t get straight all the way was kind of the issue,” he added. “So right away, I couldn’t squeeze. That’s why I didn’t throw after that preseason game. And yeah, as the season went on, it kind of started to straighten more and more and the swelling went down, but it’s just a thing that takes time.”

That certainly sounds like it could cause accuracy issues, even if Lance and the 49ers did not use it as an excuse.

No one really knows if the 49ers are committed to having Lance start for them this season. All we know is that they have invested a lot in him already. Jimmy Garoppolo remains on the roster, however, and Shanahan had some interesting comments about that this week.

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