Rookie quarterback Trey Lance on Wednesday attended 49ers practice, but he wasn’t a full participant as he continues nursing a small chip on the bone of his right index finger.
Head coach Kyle Shanahan said Monday after the injury was diagnosed that Lance was likely to miss seven days and return the following Monday in time to begin preparations for the regular season opener against the Detroit Lions. That’s still the timeline the 49ers are optimistic Lance will follow, but Shanahan on Wednesday told reporters they won’t rush the first-year signal caller back into action.
“Anytime you’ve got a small chip, it could linger,” Shanahan said. “I hope it doesn’t. I’m hoping he’s back there next Monday. That’s the goal. He seems positive about it. And we have to be smart with it too. Sometimes when it’s a real little thing like that, it’s hard to believe it’s still hurt, but we have to make sure that he doesn’t go out there and have a setback right away on it too.”
Lance is wearing a wrap on his finger and right hand according to reports from Wednesday’s practice. He was going through some drills, but not taking snaps and only going through the motions without throwing an actual football.
So what was Lance able to accomplish?
“Mainly listen,” Shanahan said. “He can do everything physically, but we’re not going to put him in there taking snaps or doing handoffs or anything that would have someone hit his finger. So, he couldn’t do anything with anyone out there, but he’s on the side and doing footwork stuff, things like that, but nothing with a ball or with other people yet.”
It’s not a surprise Lance didn’t go Wednesday, and it won’t be a surprise if he doesn’t go Thursday. The following week is where things get interesting. Shanahan seemed confident in the seven-day timeline, but didn’t guarantee the first-year signal caller would begin the week as a full participant in practice.
This is something to monitor closely heading into the first week of the regular season. If Lance can get back to at least some work by Monday, all signs should point to ‘go’ for a possible two-quarterback system. If he doesn’t come back right away, San Francisco may pump the brakes on the rookie making his debut in the opener.