49ers rookie QB Trey Lance benefitting from additional reps late in season

Preparations for Week 18 may not result in Trey Lance getting his third-career start, but the additional work to get ready in the event Jimmy Garoppolo can’t play could prove beneficial for the rookie in the long-term.

Garoppolo suffered a torn ligament in the thumb on his throwing hand in the second quarter of San Francisco’s Week 16 loss to the Titans. He finished that game, but didn’t play the following week in a win over the Texans. Lance took all the practice reps that week and played every snap as the starting quarterback. Week 18 was different with Lance splitting reps with Garoppolo, but the rookie signal caller told reporters that the unique practice circumstances were helpful.

“So it was good for me, obviously, to still be able to get some reps and at the same time work through it with Jimmy,” Lance said. “It was unique a little bit with us being able to talk through reps that we both get. I think Kyle (Shanahan) did a great job for me, personally, just being able to prepare still this week and still being able to get some reps, not knowing, obviously, what’s going to happen with Jimmy on Sunday.”

Garoppolo is officially listed as ‘questionable.’ Lance in his Week 17 start looked significantly better than he had in his first start in Week 5, and even throughout the game against the Texans appeared to settle in and get more comfortable. Even though it may not result in a sart, Lance said he improved thanks to the additional work in the lead up to the finale.

“I just think throughout the season, every single rep that I get, I get better,” Lance said. “I learn so much from every rep, whether it’s just practice or a game. And like I said, being able to have Jimmy out there and being able to be limited, throwing some this week, I think helped me a lot also.”

It’s not just Lance who feels the improvement though. Shanahan also noticed an uptick in Lance’s practice performance as his workload has seen an unexpected uptick late in…

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