The San Francisco 49ers opened up their series of organized team activities with three healthy quarterbacks in tow - Trey Lance, Sam Darnold and Brandon Allen - and the expectation that the fourth, second-year pro Brock Purdy, would rejoin the others in some capacity next week as he begins a throwing program. Throughout the course of the 2022 campaign, Lance and Purdy, who each had their stint as San Francisco's starters, suffered season-ending injuries that required surgical repair.
For Lance, a large portion of his pro career has involved some form of injury rehabilitation. Lance sustained a pointer finger injury in his throwing hand during the preseason of his rookie year that he explained altered his throwing mechanics throughout 2021. Then, he fractured his ankle in Week 2 of the 2022 season.
It wasn't until earlier this offseason the quarterback was able to put it all behind him.
"Probably towards the end of March, I would say is when I was 100 percent," Lance said. "The finger was probably a past thing throughout this whole rehab process. I felt like it got to that point, pretty close to that point, after my rookie year, after that offseason.
"It's been an awesome offseason for me, just being able to spend time finally getting back to football, finally getting back to being around the guys."
Since being cleared to play, Lance has taken advantage of this downtime in the NFL to train with the best, working alongside teammates as well as reigning Super Bowl LVII MVP, Patrick Mahomes.
"I learned a ton. I was able to focus on the right things," Lance said. "Being able to be around Patrick was awesome. To pick his brain and learn about just the type of guy he is, how he spends his free time, offseason and then more about his in-season schedule as well."
During 49ers first open OTA practice, it was Lance taking first-team reps over Darnold, however head coach Kyle Shanahan expects the breakdown of reps to even out as practices progress. Although it's still early on in Phase 3, the head coach is pleased with what he's seen from his quarterbacks.
"I thought they've done a great job," Shanahan said. "We're just putting our base stuff in on offense and defense and I thought that it's been two really good days for them."
Lance emphasized that during his offseason training, he's zeroing in on the intricacies of his game and enjoying the process of it all.
"I'm really just trying to be where my feet are, trying to live in this moment and be as present as I possibly can," Lance said. "It's been awesome.
"I really feel like I'm having fun playing football again. It's hard those first years, my first year and especially and last year. I thought I'd be able to get close to that point of not having to be so stressed and worried and have a better understanding of the offense and defense, and I finally feel like I'm able to just have fun and enjoy it again."