SANTA CLARA — Trey Lance suffered a season-end fractured ankle on a quarterback goalkeeper in the first quarter of the San Francisco 49ers-Seattle Seahawks game and was replaced by former starter Jimmy Garoppolo.
Lance had taken over from Garoppolo this season after being drafted third overall in 2021. Garoppolo did not practice with the team during the training camp and pitched alone in a side field.
But he didn’t show much sign of rust, completing 13 of 21 passes for 154 yards and a touchdown.
Garoppolo also picked up 5 yards on 4 carries, including a 1-yard scoring run that resulted in the 27-7 win.
“I think he did a really good job,” head coach Kyle Shanahan said of Garoppolo. “He made some key throws…I’m really proud of Jimmy.”
With 2:20 to go into the first quarter and the 49ers leading 3-0, Lance held the ball for 2 yards in second place to the Seahawks 19.
At the tackle, Lance’s leg was curled up under the tacklers. His teammates reacted immediately when the medical staff stormed onto the field. Lance’s injured right leg was placed in an aircast and he was taken off the field on a cart.
The 49ers said Lance broke his ankle and will be lost for the rest of the season.
When asked if he had any doubts about using Lance as a runner as a regular part of the attack, Shanahan said, “Every time a man gets hurt, I’m sorry I mentioned it (a running game).”
Lance carried the ball 3 times for 13 yards before leaving the game with the injury.
This is the second time Lance has been injured in his short time in the NFL. He injured his knee after his first start last season against Arizona when Garoppolo was injured.
Garoppolo completed his first pass to Brandon Aiyuk to set up a 33-yard Robbie Gouid field goal and a 6-0 lead.
On the 49ers’ next possession, Garoppolo – who had signed a one-year contract after San Francisco could not find a trading partner – showed no signs of rust or effects from his offseason shoulder surgery.
Garoppolo hit on a pass 12 yards to Aiyuk, 16 yards to Ray-Ray McCloud and then a 38-yard scoring hook with Ross Dwelley — who started in place of the injured George Kittle — for a touchdown and a 13-0 lead .
After Dwelley recovered a Seattle-muffled punt on the Seahawks 22, Garoppolo led the 49ers on a 4-play drive that was capped by a 1-yard Kyle Juszczyk scoring run and a 20-0 lead at halftime.
Injuries have started to pile up for the 49ers this season.
Kittle missed the Chicago season opener after being injured in practice earlier that week.
His injury leaves the Niners without two of their best players in offensive skill positions, with Elijah Mitchell falling back on an injured reserve with a knee injury.
Kittle has suffered from injuries in recent years. He missed three games last season with a calf injury, eight games in 2020 with knee and foot injuries and three games in 2019 with a groin injury.
Kittle had 71 catches for 910 yards and six touchdowns in 14 games last season. His 335 catches since entering the league in 2017 ranks third among all tight ends in that period and he is second with 4,489 yards receiving.