Leading up to the 2021 NFL Draft, Trey Lance was one of the top quarterback prospects in the draft class. Playing at North Dakota State University, he had an impressive redshirt freshman season. He lead NDSU to an undefeated record and a national championship. Despite his performance, there were concerns about his level of competition. The FCS didn’t offer the highest weekly competition and his limited experience in a pro-style offense raised questions.
Despite these concerns, Lance was still viewed as a first-round talent. This was due to his impressive physical tools and upside as a dual-threat quarterback. At his pro day, he showcased his athleticism and arm talent in front of NFL scouts and coaches. The San Francisco 49ers, in a blockbuster move traded up to the third pick to select him.
After sitting for the 2021 season, it was Trey Lance’s time to shine. Not even five quarters into his first year as a starter, disaster struck. Lance was tackled awkwardly during a run up the middle. The 22-year-old broke his fibula and tore his deltoid and syndesmotic ligaments.
The fibula fracture takes around 6-8 weeks to heal. In Lance’s case, surgery was required, which led to a longer recovery time. The ligament damages further complicated his recovery window. The deltoid ligament is located on the inside of the ankle. It’s responsible for stabilizing the ankle joint. A tear in this ligament can take several weeks to heal. Depending on the severity of the tear, surgery may be required. Recovery time can range from a few weeks to several months. The syndesmotic ligament is also located in the ankle. It connects the tibia and fibula bones. A tear in this ligament can take several weeks to several months to heal.
After a successful surgery Lance had to have a second surgery. This was to remove some hardware from the affected area. This also relieved some discomfort, Lance appears to have made a full recovery. The 49ers announced in May that he is 100% cleared to practice and is now working without restriction.
It’s difficult to say whether Trey Lance will experience any loss in athletic ability as a result of his injuries. Assuming proper maintenance, we expect Lance to make a full recovery. The current expectation is a return to his pre-injury level of performance.
This is great news for the 49ers and Trey Lance fantasy managers. Brock Purdy is potentially out of the picture for camp and possibly the pre-season. It can be assumed that Trey Lance will be the starting quarterback week one. Many fantasy players may be bearish on Lance’s ability to perform as he was once projected. If Purdy remains out Trey Lance is a late-round quarterback that could outperform his ADP. View him as sneaky option to finish as a QB1 with his rushing upside. He is a possible high ceiling/ low floor starter in all formats.
I hope this update provides some clarity on his injury and helps you make decisions about your roster. If you have more questions, let us know!