The offseason is in full swing as clubs are starting organized team activities and then training camp later on in the summer. However, there is still plenty of speculation surrounding one specific team and its quarterbacks.
The 49ers have been unlucky with the quarterback position, especially during 2022, when there was one disaster after another.
San Francisco began the season with QB Trey Lance as their starter, but in an unfortunate turn of events, he fractured his ankle in Week 2 against the Seahawks. Lance also had a pointer finger injury on his throwing hand that he suffered during the preseason of his rookie year in 2021, which changed his throwing technique.
Since the 2022 season, Lance has spent the rest of his time rehabbing his ankle, but for those wondering if he could have helped the Red and Gold in the playoffs, he didn't feel better until after the season ended.
"Probably towards the end of March, I would say is when I was 100 percent," Lance said via the team's website. "The finger was probably a past thing throughout this whole rehab process. I felt like it got to that point, pretty close to that point, after my rookie year, after that offseason."
After that Week 2 game for Lance, the 49ers put in Jimmy Garoppolo, who had been with the club for five years, as their starter. As the season went on, no one expected things to take a turn for the worse again, but then Garappolo suffered a broken foot in Week 13.
The 49ers were sitting solid at 8-4, but with almost no options left, it was time to put in rookie Brock Purdy (the 2022 NFL Draft's "Mr. Irrelevant"), who miraculously helped San Francisco make it all the way to the NFC Championship Game before he, too, suffered a season-ending injury after tearing his UCL.
With all of that in mind, this offseason has been about recovery for not only Purdy but also Lance, who is aiming to get his starting role back. The former No. 3 overall pick appears to be making a full recovery and has used this time to get back to his roots.
"It's been an awesome offseason for me, just being able to spend time finally getting back to football, finally getting back to being around the guys," Lance said.
"I learned a ton. I was able to focus on the right things," Lance said. "Being able to be around Patrick was awesome. To pick his brain and learn about just the type of guy he is, how he spends his free time, offseason, and then more about his in-season schedule as well."
The 49ers now have Lance, Purdy and Sam Darnold all on the roster for 2023. This means the preseason will be just as important as any other game for Lance, as he must prove himself to get the starting job under center.