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Fox News
Fox News
12 Aug 2023

There still is a small question mark as to who will start Week 1 for the San Francisco 49ers.

Brock Purdy, the last pick of the 2022 NFL Draft, was called upon unexpectedly after not one, but two QBs ahead of him went down for the season with injuries. All he did was lead the Niners to the NFC Championship.

However, the rising sophomore will not suit up for San Francisco's first preseason game this weekend.

Brock Purdy and Trey Lance

San Francisco 49ers quarterbacks Brock Purdy (13) and Trey Lance (5) and Sam Darnold (14) and Brandon Allen (4) stand on the field during training camp at the SAP Performance Facility.  (Robert Edwards-USA TODAY Sports)

Instead, it will be Trey Lance, who was last season's Week 1 starter.

Lance was the third overall pick in 2021, and he was named the starting quarterback heading into last year. However, his season was abruptly cut short with a season-ending leg injury in Week 2.

That prompted Jimmy Garoppolo to return under center, but then his season was lost in Week 13, leaving it all up to Purdy.

But he hardly looked like Mr. Irrelevant, as he extended San Fran's winning streak to a dozen games, and had he not gotten injured, too (he tore his UCL in his throwing elbow), the Niners could have had a trip to the Super Bowl.

Shanahan stands with Purdy and Lance during training camp

Head coach Kyle Shanahan of the San Francisco 49ers talks with his quarterbacks Trey Lance, #5, and Brock Purdy, #13, during work-outs in training camp at SAP Performance Facility on August 4, 2023, in Santa Clara, California.  (Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)


But the Niners have opted for Purdy not to play against the Las Vegas Raiders, who now have Garoppolo as their quarterback.

Lance will play in the first half, while 2018 third-overall selection Sam Darnold will play in the second half.

Purdy is still, for sure, the favorite to win the job, but one can't blame the Niners for giving Lance some looks in preseason, as they traded up to select him just two years ago (or, this could simply be an option for the Niners to showcase Lance and get his trade value up if Purdy is undoubtedly the starter).

Purdy has been a full participant in practice, and he did get plenty of reps against the Raiders in the team's scrimmage during joint practices earlier this week.

Trey Lance and Brock Purdy on the field together

Trey Lance, #5, and Brock Purdy, #13, of the San Francisco 49ers on the field before the game against the Seattle Seahawks at Lumen Field on December 15, 2022, in Seattle, Washington. The 49ers defeated the Seahawks 21-13.  (Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)

Purdy was exceptional from Week 13 on, completing 151 of 233 passes (64.8%) for 1,877 yards, while throwing 16 touchdowns against just four interceptions. Meanwhile, Lance has just 102 passing attempts in eight games played.