The 27-7 win over the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday was bittersweet for the San Francisco 49ers, who will be without second-year quarterback Trey Lance for the rest of the season due to a broken ankle that will require surgery.
As 49ers receiver, Deebo Samuel told reporters, “Seeing all the work that Trey put in from last year to this year, it kind of broke my heart.”
On Sunday, with 2:20 left in the first quarter, Lance was hurt while running a read-option play. He was taken off the field after having his right leg put in an air cast and was clearly in pain. Before leaving the game, he completed two of three passes for 30 yards and gained 13 yards on three carries.
And this happens only days after Lance admitted he needs to better protect himself while running the ball. Despite his team’s Week 1 loss to the Chicago Bears, the 22-year-old led the 49ers in rushing yards with 13 carries.
“I’m not larger, quicker, and stronger than pretty much everyone else,” Lance admitted on Wednesday. “Guys catch up a lot quicker, space is filled, guys close a lot faster, and I have to learn to defend myself, simply being in a different situation knowing how vital it is for me to stay healthy,” he said.
"It kinda broke my heart." – Deebo on Trey's ankle injury pic.twitter.com/pPH3Vd9OhT
— 49ers on NBCS (@NBCS49ers) September 18, 2022
Jimmy Garoppolo, who came in for Lance on Sunday, threw for 154 yards and a touchdown while completing 13 of 21 passes. One of his touchdowns was scored on the ground.
In August, Garoppolo agreed to a revised contract that lowered his base salary from $24 million to $6.5 million but included incentives for playing time and team performance that could increase it to $16 million.
On Sunday night, September 24, the 49ers will play again, this time against the Denver Broncos.
To maximize Samuel’s playmaking potential, the 49ers have increasingly set him up in the backfield like a traditional running back, a formation he rarely used before. Samuel has been selected for the 2021 Pro Bowl. During the course of the season, Samuel rushed for six touchdowns of 10 yards or more, which was more than 23 different NFL teams combined.
Additionally, he has the record for the most running touchdowns by a wide receiver in a single season with eight. Samuel tossed a 24-yard touchdown pass and rushed for another score of 16 yards as part of a 164-yard performance in a week 18 must-win game against the Los Angeles Rams.
During the course of the regular season, Samuel caught 77 passes for 1,405 yards and 6 touchdowns. Samuel set a record for most running touchdowns by a wide receiver with eight, on the ground, while finishing with a total of 365 yards rushing on 59 carries. A touchdown pass was also thrown by Samuel.
In the Wild Card Round victory over the Dallas Cowboys, Samuel caught three catches for 38 yards and ran for 72 yards and a touchdown on ten carries.
Deebo invented a new role for himself following the 2022 Pro Bowl. After spending the middle of the season (and the remainder of the season) in the backfield, he reclassified himself as a wide receiver who also plays running back and gave himself the nickname “wide back.”
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