San Francisco 49ers quarterback Trey Lance showed promise as a rookie, but left something to be desired as a passer. Lance completed just 57.7% of his passes during his first season in the NFL. Jimmy Garoppolo completed 68.3% of his passes in the same offense.
Completion percentage isn't everything, but a player of Lance's caliber should have performed better in a Kyle Shanahan-run offense.
Turns out, there's a reason Lance had issues throwing the football last season: He played the entire year with a lingering finger issue.
Lance revealed the severity of his finger injury Tuesday. He said he couldn't fully straighten his finger, and couldn't use it to finish throws. The injury reportedly occurred during a preseason game and lingered throughout the 2022 NFL season.
— Jake Hutchinson (@hutchdiesel) May 24, 2022
Lance also spoke about how much his finger impacted his ability to throw the ball, per 49erswebzone.com.
"I think the finger, for me, was the biggest thing just as far as throwing the ball. I kind of had to learn to throw the ball differently without kind of using my pointer finger, I guess because of just where it was at throughout the year. But now, I feel like I'm in a great spot, health-wise, and throwing the ball well and feeling really good."
Surgery was not necessary to repair the injury. Lance added he is "in a great spot, health-wise" entering OTAs.
Trey Lance expected to start for 49ers in 2022
Lance spent most of his rookie season sitting behind Garoppolo, but that won't be the case in 2022. Garoppolo is expected to be traded, paving the way for Lance to be the undisputed starter for the 49ers.
Garoppolo underwent shoulder surgery in March, delaying a move. Despite that surgery, Shanahan still anticipates Garoppolo will be traded before the start of the season.
It's unclear whether Lance will be throwing passes to All-Pro receiver Deebo Samuel in 2022. Samuel reportedly requested a trade during the offseason. The 49ers aren't keen to meet Samuel's demand.
If, for whatever reason, Samuel does not return to the team, Lance will still be able to rely on tight end George Kittle as his primary weapon.