Jimmy Garoppolo’s shadow grew in Week 1.
Trey Lance and the 49ers offense struggled for most of the day in brutal conditions in a 19-10 loss to the Bears.
Lance showed his significant arm talent and running ability at times, but he was too often inaccurate in the upset loss.
“What do you think he did?” He doesn’t do anything,” Bears cornerback Jaylon Johnson said after the game. “We had him play quarterback. We know he hurt us in the running game with his feet and everyone knows that at some point he’s going to run and make a play.
“But I feel like we really had to get him to play quarterback. Like I said, he’s still young and I think he’ll end up being a good player for them. But it’s early. He has to go through it. I feel like we did exactly what I said: prove him as a quarterback.
The 49ers announced early in the offseason that Lance — entering his second season — would be the starting quarterback and unsuccessfully tried to trade Garoppolo, who led the team to the NFC Championship Game last year. Instead, they kept Garoppolo on a reworked contract and locked him in as Lance’s replacement.
The concern with the decision was that keeping Garoppolo in San Francisco would put pressure on Lance and increase calls to return to the veteran if he failed.
“Made too many mistakes,” said Lance, who finished the game completing 13 of 28 passes for 164 yards and one interception. “The defense kept us in the game. Had a big miss for Tyler Kroft in the end zone. I tried to throw a perfect ball. I should have put it on him. He was wide open.
“I returned the ball. Took a bag that put us out of reach of the baskets. Deebo missed [Samuel] on the third try. Missed another third to Jauan [Jennings]. Just too many mistakes. Lots to clean up for sure.
A game in a torrential downpour won’t lead to a quarterback change in San Francisco. However, Kyle Shanahan’s team entered the season with Super Bowl expectations and loaded with talent on both sides of the ball. And performances like Sunday’s will do nothing to slow down questions surrounding the quarterback’s situation.
Shanahan was asked in an interview with KNBR on Friday if Garoppolo’s return showed a lack of confidence in Lance.
“Guys, this is Trey’s first year starting for us,” Shanahan said. “We were dropping a starting quarterback of $24 million to do this. We picked it up for a reserve price. I don’t think it has to do with not having confidence in your starter.
“It never would have happened if it hadn’t materialized there. We were very lucky that it happened. So obviously we were ready to go in a different direction and we ended up dropping something on our knees.
New York Post