The most convenient answer to this question is Jimmy Garoppolo. The veteran has cemented himself as the starter for the 49ers'. The emerging rookie has, however, shown some brilliance in his command of the offense in pre-season.
The rookie quarterback seems to be finding his footing within the dynamic 49ers offense. The highlights that Trey Lance can produce are a welcome sight that any team would cherish.
Trey Lance threw for 128 yards and one touchdown in Week 1 of the preseason. Lance completed five of 14 passes, which doesn't look impressive, but a misleading number, in that the 49ers currently own the most dropped passes in the preseason: seven.
Trey Lance had a much better showing in Week 2 of action, completing 8-14 passes, totalling 102 yards, two TDs and one INT.
Will Jimmy Garoppolo's injury concerns allow for Trey Lance to take the reins?
There has been a lot riding on Jimmy Garoppolo, especially with durability concerns. Back in 2018, Jimmy Garoppolo's season was cut short from an ACL tear, and most assumed the quarterback would never truly return to his true form. The injury came at the worst time of the season when the hype around Jimmy Garoppolo was at its peak.
In the 2020 season, Garoppolo suffered a high ankle sprain in Week 2 that seemed to nag at the quarterback. Garoppolo returned in Weeks 5 through 8, but the flare-up of the ankle injury was evident.
Garoppolo's passes missed their zip. He isn't the typical field stretch quarterback, so quick and shorter passes are needed, but, the ankle injury kept this from happening. On November 1 last year, the injury returned against the Seahawks.
Garoppolo was removed from the game, ending his season and resulting in only six games played for the veteran.
Jimmy Garoppolo is still a veteran of the game. With that veteran presence comes the ability to make plays like the one above. Jimmy Garoppolo stepped up into the pocket, avoiding two tackles while gaining some good yardage.
His former injury concerns should be laid to rest from the video. No one coming off a major injury would be able to move in that manner. Garoppolo looks quick. His leg movement and lightning-quick passes should help to move the chains with ease.
Garoppolo is still a proven veteran, having thrown for 1,096 yards, seven TDs and five INTs. He still boasted a 92.4 QBR in his limited games. This is still Jimmy Garoppolo's team to command.
If there is another setback with Garoppolo's ankle, or any other manner of injury causing the veteran to ride the bench, then Trey Lance will be the next obvious choice. But for now, Trey Lance must wait his turn.