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Trey Lance gets surgery as Niners attack Jimmy Garoppolo


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Garoppolo took over after Lance suffered a season-ending ankle injury in the first quarter of Sunday’s game.

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Trey Lance (5) gestures while being carried off the field during the first half against the Seattle Seahawks in Santa Clara, Calif. on Sunday, September 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar) The Associated Press

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — Trey Lance underwent season-ending surgery on his broken right ankle on Monday, leaving the San Francisco 49ers to continue the remainder of the 2022 season with former starter Jimmy Garoppolo back at the helm .

Lance was injured in the first quarter of San Francisco’s 27-7 win over the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday as he held the ball in the middle.

The Niners said Lance underwent surgery Monday to repair a broken bone and ruptured ligament. Team doctor Dr Tim McAdams said he was confident Lance would make a full recovery in time for a full comeback next season.

“I’ll be back better than ever,” Lance tweeted after the surgery. “This chapter will make the story even bigger!”

But for now, the Niners (1-1) are in Garoppolo’s hands and they feel very lucky to have been able to keep their former starter on a reduced contract this season in case something happens to Lance.

“I don’t want to minimize what happened to Trey, because we really feel for him, but that’s why you buy insurance,” fullback Kyle Juszczyk said. “You don’t want to have to use it, but Jimmy was kind of our insurance policy.”

Instead of Lance’s injury derailing a season for a team that believes it can challenge for the Super Bowl, it just puts the Niners back where they were last year when Garoppolo helped them get to the title game. NFC with Lance as a replacement.

San Francisco planned to trade Garoppolo this offseason, but was unable to do so after undergoing shoulder surgery in March.

Garoppolo remained on the roster but did not train with the team at all during training camp, throwing alone at the side, before agreeing to return as a substitute on a reduced contract.

Instead of the unguaranteed base salary of $24.2 million Garoppolo owed this season, he will receive a fully guaranteed base salary of $6.5 million, $500,000 in roster bonuses and the opportunity to earn nearly $9 million more in game time bonuses.

Garoppolo earned $350,000 in bonus money on Sunday for playing at least 25% snaps and the Niners won the game.

“It definitely turns out to be a very smart move for us,” defensive end Nick Bosa said. “The fact that we have a quarterback who has already done so much for this organization and has all the experience he has, and the fact that we are getting him back, is very important for our team. We are excited for him. , but obviously we feel bad for Trey.

Garoppolo threw a 38-yard TD pass to Ross Dwelley on his first full drive and went 12-for-21 for 154 yards without a turnover.

The offense changed a bit this offseason as it was geared towards Lance, but it didn’t take long for Garoppolo to feel comfortable.

“It was just good,” he said. “We were talking earlier, it was a bit like 2017, where you just go out to throw, make plays, that’s what I like to do. It’s different from what we usually do here, but sometimes it have to do it.

WHAT WORKS

Defense. San Francisco didn’t allow a single goal against the Seahawks, with Bosa leading a fierce defense. The Niners gave up for less than 220 yards in each of the first two games of the season, joining the 2017 Panthers as the only teams to do so in the past 14 seasons. Bosa had two sacks and five QB hits in another dominating performance.

WHAT NEEDS HELP

Field goal unit. One of Sunday’s few errors came on special teams when Dwelley was beaten inside by Tariq Woolen, who blocked a 20-yard field goal attempt by Robbie Gould. Michael Jackson picked it up and ran for 86 yards for Seattle’s only score.

STORE

Jeff Wilson Jr. once again looked good in an opportunity as running back. He had 18 carries for 84 yards and added two receptions for 19 yards. In nine career starts, Wilson is averaging 81.5 rushing yards per game.

SOLD OUT

Lance development. The Niners invested three first-round picks to trade for Lance in the 2021 draft and won’t know until at least his third year if that was a wise move. Lance started just two games as a rookie and played less than five quarterbacks this year before being sidelined. Lance played just one game in college during a pandemic-altered 2020 season after a year as a starter at lower-tier North Dakota State.

That means whatever San Francisco does next year at quarterback, there will be questions about whether Lance can handle the job.

INJURIES

TE Tyler Kroft sprained the MCL in his knee and will miss some time. … RB Ty Davis-Price will also be sidelined with a sprained ankle. … The 49ers are hoping to get TE George Kittle back this week after missing the first two games with a groin injury.

KEY NUMBER

A. A week after committing six penalties on defense leading to five first downs, the Niners played a much cleaner game. The only penalty committed by the defense was a tight pass interference call against Emmanuel Moseley which canceled out a Fred Warner interception.

NEXT STEPS

The 49ers travel to Denver on Sunday night.



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