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Trey Lance's sterling debut: 1 pass, 1 49ers touchdown

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Whatever else happens in his NFL career, Trey Lance started in the greatest possible way: one pass, one touchdown. 

The San Francisco 49ers gave up a whole lot of capital to trade up to the third spot to snag Lance in the 2021 NFL draft, and Lance immediately showed why. After starter Jimmy Garoppolo guided the Niners down to the Detroit Lions' 5-yard line, Lance came in and found Trent Sherfield in the end zone. 

Of note: Garoppolo fumbled away his first snap of the 2021 season:

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DETROIT, MICHIGAN - SEPTEMBER 12: Trey Lance #5 of the San Francisco 49ers warms up prior to the game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on September 12, 2021 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
Niners QB Trey Lance did more than hold a clipboard in Week 1 against the Lions. (Leon Halip/Getty Images)

Niners head coach Kyle Shanahan resisted all easy narratives heading into the season — trade away Garoppolo or keep Lance on the bench to observe from a distance — in favor of the two-headed QB beast the Niners have run out in the early minutes of this season. 

Shanahan has actively resisted naming a starter, claiming it's a competitive advantage to keep the secret. "I look at it more as, what do you gain by naming it?" he said several weeks ago. "There would be one reason I could think of by naming it that would help and that would be to end those questions. If you could give me another reason that's a big advantage, that helps our team, affects anything that has to do with us, then I will name it."

Lance suffered a minor injury on his throwing hand during training camp that kept him off the field for several days, at the same time Garoppolo was crafting a strong preseason camp. That gave Garoppolo the initial start, but Lance's athleticism ensured that he'd be part of the offense going forward. And Lance's success right from the jump ought to keep that going. 


Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Follow him on Twitter at @jaybusbee or contact him at jay.busbee@yahoo.com.

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