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49ers name Sam Darnold No. 2 QB behind Brock Purdy, exploring options for Trey Lance

The San Francisco 49ers are listing Sam Darnold as the backup to Brock Purdy.

Sam Darnold #14 of the San Francisco 49ers scrambles during the first half of a preseason game against the Denver Broncos at Levi’s Stadium on August 19, 2023 in Santa Clara, California. Photo by Loren Elliott/Getty Images

The San Francisco 49ers have named Sam Darnold their backup quarterback behind starter Brock Purdy. This leaves Trey Lance as the odd man out, and the 49ers are exploring the various options they have for him.

Lance was drafted with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. The 49ers traded up to get the North Dakota State product, but his career hasn’t panned out as anticipated. The 23-year-old Lance only played in 19 career college games before being drafted and only one during his final collegiate season. He has only logged eight career NFL games over two years and has thrown for 797 yards with five touchdowns and three interceptions.

Darnold is on his third career team heading into his fifth season. He was selected with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft by the New York Jets. Darnold notoriously stunk for the Jets and was eventually traded to the Carolina Panthers. It was a high-risk, high-reward situation for the Panthers that didn’t pan out. His best season came in 2019 when he played in 13 games and threw for 3,024 yards with 19 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.

Purdy has cemented himself as the QB1 for San Francisco. He is now infamously known for being taken with the final pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. That year’s Mr. Irrelevant appears to be one of the bigger draft surprises in history, as he debuted last season after mounting injuries to the quarterback room. Through nine career regular season games, Purdy has thrown for 1,374 yards with 13 touchdowns and four interceptions.