Kyle Shanahan: Trey Lance will see things he’s never seen, can compensate with athletic ability

The 49ers haven’t ruled quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo out for Sunday’s game against the Cardinals, but his calf injury kept him from practicing on Wednesday and there’s a pretty good chance that Trey Lance will be making his first NFL start this weekend.

Lance played the entire second half of last Sunday’s game, but a start would be his first opportunity to face a defense that’s expecting to see him from the outset. On Wednesday, head coach Kyle Shanahan said that would present issues for the rookie and that he’s confident that Lance’s athleticism will counter his inexperience.

“When thrown into the battle here, he got more comfortable as the game went, especially going home and watching the tape after, there was encouraging stuff,” Shanahan said, via Cam Inman of the San Jose Mercury News. “He’ll see some things out there that he’s never seen. But what you like about him and stuff he might not be ready for, he can overcompensate with his athletic ability and how competitive he is, and how good of a football player he is.”

Thursday’s practice will bring another update on Garoppolo’s condition. If it’s unchanged, the odds of a Lance start will be even greater.