49ers QB Trey Lance, Who Steelers May See Week One, Makes ‘Substantial’ Offseason Jump Working With Patrick Mahomes

For Pittsburgh Steelers fans, they’re on quarterback watch for Week One. Not in their own backyard, Kenny Pickett is firmly their guy, but for the opposition. The San Francisco 49ers are coming to town to open up the season with an uncertain quarterback situation. Starter Brock Purdy is coming off elbow surgery with former first-round picks Trey Lance and Sam Darnold as backup options. You could argue any one of those three names will face T.J. Watt and company September 10th.

Should Purdy not be healthy enough, Lance could be next man up. According to an article posted over the weekend, Lance has been hard at work this offseason, training with Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes and QB trainer Jeff Christensen.

“To his credit, he just kept getting better,” Christensen said via’s Micahel Baca. “(Over) the last seven days, every day was a substantial jump.”

Christensen said Lance took visual cues of watching what Mahomes was doing, allowing him to more quickly change his mechanics and follow Mahomes’ lead.

The third overall pick of the 2021 NFL Draft, Lance was a big-armed and athletic quarterback from North Dakota State. But he was considered raw with little college experience, losing most of his 2020 season due to the pandemic that prevented FCS schools from playing. Lance played in just one game his final season, a win over Central Arkansas, though he threw the first and only interception of his career in that game.

He started two games of his NFL rookie year, throwing five touchdowns and two picks but completed well under 60% of his passes. He was named the team’s starter to begin the 2022 season but broke his ankle two weeks in and was lost for the year. Purdy would eventually come off the bench late in the season and lead the 49ers to the NFC title game before being knocked out with an injury.

If Purdy can be fully cleared with enough time to prepare for Week One, he will be the team’s starter. But it’s a coin flip whether or not that’ll happen. Recently, Head Coach Kyle Shanahan sounded optimistic about Purdy’s prognosis but the 49ers won’t have enough clarity to make a decision on their depth chart for probably another three months. Regardless, Purdy will be unavailable or limited this summer, meaning Lance and Darnold – signed from Carolina this offseason – will battle it out. And Steelers fans will be paying close attention to the situation to know who they’re expected to welcome to Acrisure Stadium in September.

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