The San Francisco 49ers open their 2021 preseason schedule on Saturday when they host the Kansas City Chiefs in a rematch of Super Bowl 54. There are a lot of familiar faces on both rosters from that Chiefs comeback win, but there is one huge storyline that has changed — the future of the 49ers quarterback position.
Two seasons removed from a Super Bowl appearance, the 49ers traded two future first round picks to move up in the 2021 NFL Draft and select North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance. They team did not in turn unload Jimmy Garoppolo, but the message was clear — the 49ers are looking for more from the quarterback position. They are in a position to win now with Garoppolo, but he is unlikely to be on the 49ers roster a year from now.
Garoppolo and Lance are competing in training camp and both head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch have complimented Garoppolo’s work since being challenged by the Lance pick. Garoppolo remains the starter and will get the first snaps in Saturday’s preseason game, but this will be more about seeing what Lance can do in his first pro action.
Shanahan said on Thursday that Garoppolo will play one series in the Chiefs game before being replaced by Lance. From there, Shanahan is hoping Lance will be able to play the rest of the first half, with 30 snaps the plan. The 49ers head coach also said that the starters will come off the field with Garoppolo after the first series, which means Lance will be playing with the second string offensive line.