This was supposed to be Trey Lance's year. The San Francisco 49ers quarterback could not have been dealt with a bigger blow after he suffered a season-ending ankle injury two weeks into the new season. It's been a tough past few months for the 22-year-old, but at this point, it seems like he's making considerable progress in his road to recovery.
Lance joined the 49ers in their recent trip to Mexico City to battle the Baltimore Ravens. For Niners head coach Kyle Shanahan, he's just pleased to see his young QB take part in off-field team activities of late:
“It was cool just getting him to travel with this for the first time out in Colorado, so him being in every meeting and being able to go all those places with us and have him on the Saturday night meeting, or in this case the Sunday night meeting, before the game so we can go over all the third downs and red zone stuff, so now he’s preparing like he’s playing except for everything on the field,” Shanahan told reporters on Wednesday, via Mike Florio of PFT.
With regard to his physical condition, however, Lance still isn't out of the woods, so to speak. Shanahan hinted that the former No. 3 overall pick still has a ways to go before he returns to action:
“I don’t think he’s running,” Shanahan said. “I know he is out of the boot, walking around well. I’m not sure exactly where he is at in that, but he’s not going real hard at it yet.”
Coach Shanahan also ruled out the possibility of Trey Lance returning for the playoffs. Some fans were hoping that this was going to be a possibility for their young quarterback, but the Niners shot-caller has pretty much thrown some ice-cold water on that prospect.
“I haven’t been told there’s a chance, so I think things would have to be pretty drastic,” Shanahan said. “We weren’t expecting that much from the beginning, I think he’s right on schedule with everything, but I’ve not been told there’s a chance.”
Both Lance and the 49ers are going to use the next several months to prepare for next season. It's going to be make-or-break for Lance, who still has to meet some lofty expectations from both fans and experts alike.