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Kyle Shanahan’s definitive declaration on 49ers QB’s Jimmy Garoppolo, Trey Lance

49ers, Kyle Shanahan, Trey Lance, Jimmy Garoppolo

The San Francisco 49ers made North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance the No. 3 overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft, but he is not expected to take snaps under center from the jump.

49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan did an interview with Rich Eisen on Monday in which plainly stated incumbent starter Jimmy Garoppolo still holds that title as the offseason continues on.

Shanahan made it clear he has a terrific relationship with Garoppolo and pointed out the 49ers have played winning football when Jimmy G has been healthy. Additionally, Shanahan said he expects Garoppolo will be motivated by San Francisco’s move.

Shanahan has been pretty consistent with this kind of messaging since the Niners drafted Lance. He and general manager John Lynch both told ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt the organization still believes in Garoppolo as a starting quarterback, adding Lance will need time to develop.

But, as Shanahan alluded to during the interview, Garoppolo’s durability issues loom large.

The 29-year-old has played just one full, healthy season as a starting quarterback. That was in 2019, when he helped lead San Francisco to the Super Bowl. The rest of Garoppolo’s Niners tenure has been plagued by injuries.

Garoppolo suffered a torn ACL in his left knee in Week 3 of the 2018 season. He went 3-3 in six starts this past season, but ultimately could not overcome ankle issues.

However, the 49ers’ brain trust clearly feels Garoppolo is a winning quarterback in the NFL. He will have the chance to prove as much this fall, though Lance could make things a bit more interesting with an impressive performance in camp.