Earlier this week, San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan was asked for comment on a recent report about rookie Trey Lance, which says that he's yet to become the starting quarterback due to regression since training camp.
Shanahan's response was somewhat interesting. He told reporters that there was "probably some accuracy" to it, but that regression didn't only apply to Lance. He also mentioned that it's normal for all players to experience ups and downs over the course of a season. In other words, Shanahan didn't dispute the unflattering story.
"What's he even saying?... What are you saying, dude? I can't get my head around that one completely," Tiki Barber said during the Tiki and Tierney show on Friday. "It's hard to do it because it's like conceding defeat, but at some point, you've got to say, 'We know Jimmy [Garoppolo] isn't the guy, otherwise we wouldn't have drafted Trey Lance. We've got find out who Trey Lance is.' This regression, what are we talking about? We haven't even seen him play..."
Lance, who was selected third overall by San Francisco in the 2021 NFL Draft, has appeared in four games this season, and made his first career start during Week 5 while Garoppolo was sidelined with a calf injury. Although the rookie suffered a knee sprain during that start and was inactive in Week 7 following the team's bye, he's been active for the past two games and hasn't played.
Last week, the 49ers were humiliated by an Arizona Cardinals team that didn't have star quarterback Kyler Murray. When asked if Lance will see more playing time during the second half of the season, Shanahan recently said he likely won't take over for the veteran Garoppolo until their playoff hopes are dashed.
Of course, this scenario involving Lance may occur sooner rather than later. San Francisco (3-5) will host the Los Angeles Rams (7-2) on Monday night, and according to FiveThirtyEight's projections, the 49ers have a 21-percent chance to reach the playoffs.
Tiki and Tierney's complete thoughts on the 49ers can be accessed in the audio player above.