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Sam Darnold reportedly might be the man the 49ers roll with at QB to open the season.
Brock Purdy, who started down the final stretch last season, is still recovering from elbow surgery and it’s unclear when he’ll be ready to sling the ball around.
That means former third overall pick Trey Lance and Darnold will battle it out for the QB1 role until Purdy can get back in the mix.
Jeremy Fowler reported (via The Spun) Darnold is making a serious push for the starting role, and will split QB1 reps with Lance during the offseason.
An unnamed official from a different NFL team told Fowler that Darnold is a “major talent” who could still have plenty of potential.
Will Sam Darnold start at QB for the 49ers?
The QB situation for the 49ers is a fascinating one. Brock Purdy didn’t lose a regular season game he started, but he also didn’t manage to put up big numbers.
He finished the season with 13 passing touchdowns, 4 interceptions and 1,374 passing yards. Not amazing but definitely serviceable. Most importantly, the team won with him under center.
Now, the former Iowa State star is sidelined as he recovers from his UCL injury. That means Sam Darnold and Trey Lance will battle it out for the starting role.
The reality of the situation is Trey Lance has shown nothing to suggest he can be the guy. He played in two games last season before getting hurt, didn’t throw a single touchdown, threw for just 194 yards and tossed an interception. The sample size is unbelievably small, but there’s not much there to indicate he’s going to take over and ball out.
Sam Darnold has way more experience and has shown flashes during his career since entering the league in 2018. His biggest problem is he’s never been in a solid situation. The Jets were a mess when they drafted him and the Panthers were chaos during his time with the team.
Now, Darnold is teamed up with Kyle Shanahan on a team that will compete from week one. Is that enough to give him the boost he’s desperately been looking for in his career?
It definitely seems like things are lining up for that to be the case. It should be interesting to see how it shakes out, but the fact Darnold is getting the look for the QB1 role definitely indicates Trey Lance still isn’t ready.