(CTN News) – It is rare that a preseason finale game 49ers carries any buzz entering it.
Only the starters get the most playing time with them. It is intended as a warmup for Week 1 of the regular season. However, today’s preseason matchup between the San Francisco 49ers and the Los Angeles Chargers generated chaos for the 49ers.
Dallas Cowboys acquired Trey Lance earlier in the day. On Wednesday, Sam Darnold was officially named Brock Purdy’s backup quarterback. In training camp and beyond, Kyle Shanahan saw enough from Darnold to replace Lance in favor of Darnold.
Against the Chargers, Darnold’s performance tonight was highlighted by that. The 49ers lost 23-12 to the Chargers in their preseason finale.
In the beginning, Brock Purdy took the first two series. In spite of his injury, Purdy still looks natural and isn’t afraid to play, which is a great sign. However, he didn’t throw the football too clean in this game. His throws were a bit erratic at times.
The 49ers will have to limit that when they visit the Pittsburgh Steelers in two weeks. In total, he completed 5-of-9 passes for 73 yards and a rushing touchdown. In all, it’s still good to see him not being timid through three drives.
Darnold didn’t look much better either. His performance against the Chargers was hardly positive. There were multiple near interceptions and he was throwing behind receivers. In terms of highlights, he threw a touchdown pass and a decent deep ball to receiver Chris Conley.
Darnold had a bad preseason. 89 yards and a touchdown on 6-of-11 passes. Stats don’t always tell the whole story. On the same day the 49ers cut Lance, he looked mediocre.
Lance looks like Darnold, if not better. General manager John Lynch joined Greg Papa and Tim Ryan on the broadcast to talk about trading Lance.
Lynch said, “Really hard day.”. Despite 49ers taking a shot, we didn’t succeed. We own it. We take responsibility for it, but I think, like I think you guys do, Trey’s story is still to come. Dallas really wanted him, and they came after him, so I think it’s going to be a great place for him to land.
“We didn’t make it work because Trey didn’t put in enough effort or because of us. He struggled through injuries, but this team’s ready to win, and we like the quarterback room here.
Our favorite quarterbacks are Brock Purdy, Sam Darnold, and Brandon Allen. So we wish Trey all the best in Dallas. We will always admire his work ethic and character..”
Lynch and Shanahan are in a tricky situation and they need to hope they know what they are doing for the sake of Lynch and Shanahan.
In all three preseason games, Darnold 49ers did not look any better than average and he never once separated himself from Lance in a significant way.
Purdy’s health is going to be one of the most important things for the 49ers this year, and if he is not in good health, they may find themselves faced with a world of regret at the end of the 2023 season.