Kyle Shanahan says backup QB spot could change throughout regular season

Aug 22, 2023, 3:30 PM | Updated: 3:38 pm

Quarterback Trey Lance #5 of the San Francisco 49ers watches quarterback Sam Darnold #14 of the San...

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The San Francisco 49ers are less than three weeks away from their regular-season opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers, and Kyle Shanahan has yet to finalize his quarterback depth chart.

The 49ers head coach spoke to the media Tuesday ahead of the team’s preseason finale with the Los Angeles Chargers on Friday. Entering Week 3 of the preseason, both QBs Trey Lance and Sam Darnold have played a considerable amount for the 49ers, trying to determine the pecking order for 2023. But with only a few days to go, their coach hasn’t decided on the order for Friday night.

“I haven’t decided, no, today’s a big part of that and tomorrow. But we’ll decide after these two practices,” Kyle Shanahan said.

Both backup gunslingers have had up & down moments on the field this month, with Lance outshining Darnold against the Denver Broncos. But that doesn’t mean he’s decided on who’s won the QB2 job just yet.ย In fact, the coach mentioned that he may not even come to a decision until the 49ers are about to start the regular season.

And that decision could change week-to-week.

“I mean, I would think I’ll probably announce it before we play Pittsburgh, but not this game,” the coach added.

The only thing Shanahan knows for sure at the moment is that he’ll have to declare one emergency QB before each game this season.

The NFL implemented a new rule that will allow the teams to carry an emergency third option at QB in games. The rule comes with drawbacks though, unable to use the gunslinger unless it is absolutely necessary during the contest.

Because of that, Shanahan & Co. will need to determine the depth chart sooner than later, presently certain that he’ll need to designate a guy for said spot each week.

“I believe [the NFL] sent a memo last night, I have not read through it all yet. But I believe we’re gonna have to designate them. It’ll be a specific guy, you can’t go back and forth,” Kyle Shanahan explained.

As for other positions of question, Nick Bosa continues to be the topic of conversation.

The star pass rusher has yet to show up to 49ers HQ, holding out for a massive contract extension that will likely make him the highest-paid defensive player ever. And while the 2023 season is rapidly approaching, Shanahan & the front office aren’t concerned one bit.

“It’s gone exactly as I expected it go,” Shanahan said about the contract talks.ย “Hopefully [gets done] sooner rather than later.”

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