SANTA CLARA -- Trey Lance suffered a season-ending broken ankle on a quarterback keeper Sunday in the first quarter of the San Francisco 49ers-Seattle Seahawks game and was replaced by former starter Jimmy Garoppolo.
Lance had taken over the starting job this season from Garoppolo after being drafted third overall in 2021. Garoppolo didn't practice with the team during training camp, throwing on his own on 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 locked up the 27-7 victory.
"I'm real proud of Jimmy and how he came in and was ready for the moment and helped us get a win," head coach Kyle Shanahan said of Garoppolo.
For his part, Garoppolo said he quickly got on his game face.
"Just like riding a bike, yeah. It felt good to be back out there," he said. "Just feel terrible for [QB] Trey [Lance]. I've been on that side of it. This league is tough, and everyone has their share of injuries, but that sucks for him. I feel bad for him. But he's our brother and you know, we'll pick him up."
With 2:20 to go in the first quarter and the 49ers leading 3-0, Lance kept the ball on second down at the Seahawks 19 for 2 yards.
On the tackle, Lance's leg was rolled up under the tacklers. His teammates reacted immediately as the medical staff rushed onto the field. Lance's injured right leg was placed in an aircast and he was taken from the field on a cart.
The 49ers said Lance had broken his ankle and will be lost for the rest of the season.
"It's tough you feel for someone so bad," Shanahan said at his post-game news conference. "It's a very sad moment, but you don't have time to sit there and think about it. You have to get right back to the game and I thought the guys did a real good job of that and we were real happy about the win, but it was a little somber once you got in the locker room and you see him."
When asked if he had any second thoughts about using Lance as a runner as a regular feature of the offense, Shanahan said: "Anytime a guy gets hurt I wish I didn't call that, but no, that's something we were going to do and something we would continue to do. That's a football play we believe in, and something that gives him a chance to be real successful in this league."
Lance carried the ball 3 times for 13 yards before leaving the game with the injury.
This is the second time Lance has gotten hurt in his brief time in the NFL. He injured his knee after his first start last season against Arizona when Garoppolo was hurt.
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 was signed to a 1-year deal after San Francisco couldn't find a trading partner -- showed no sign of any rust or any effects of his off-season shoulder surgery.
Garoppolo hit on a 12-yard pass to Aiyuk, 16 yards to Ray-Ray McCloud and then a 38-yard scoring hook up 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 muffed punt at the Seahawks 22, Garoppolo guided the 49ers on a 4-play drive that was capped by a 1-yard Kyle Juszczyk scoring run and a 20-0 halftime lead.
Injuries have started to mount for the 49ers this season.
Kittle missed the season opener at Chicago after getting hurt in practice earlier that week.
His injury leaves the Niners without two of their best offensive skill position players with running back Elijah Mitchell on injured reserve with a knee injury.
Kittle has been hampered by injuries in recent years. He missed three games with a calf injury last season, eight games in 2020 with injuries to his knee and foot, 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 rank third among all tight ends in that span and he is second with 4,489 yards receiving.
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