The San Francisco 49ers locked down the 27-7 victory in their home opener versus their NFC West rival, the Seattle Seahawks. In a game filled with inclement weather and the loss of their starting quarterback to injury, San Francisco’s win was met with a mix of emotions from players, coaches and fans.
“It’s tough,” Shanahan said. “You feel for someone so bad. It’s a sad moment, but you don’t have time to sit there and think about it. You’ve got to get right back to the game. I thought the guys did a real good job of that. We were happy about the win, but it was a little somber once you get in the locker room and you see him.”
QB1 Trey Lance Exits the Game Early with a Season-Ending Ankle Injury
San Francisco 49ers QB1 Trey Lance exited Sunday’s contest due to an ankle injury sustained the first quarter. The sophomore quarterback was injured on the 49ers second offensive series. No. 5 made contact with two Seattle defenders on a run up the middle and was carted off the field. He was ruled out for the remainder of the game. In his postgame interview, head coach Kyle Shanahan confirmed the severity of the injury noting that Lance is expected to miss the rest of the season.
“He’s doing as good as you can,” Shanahan said. “He was just asking me about a couple of the plays before, about some of his reads. That’s the type of kid he is, and I’m hurting for him.”
Backup QB Jimmy Garoppolo Takes Over
With Lance working through an ankle injury, Garoppolo stepped in at quarterback at the end of the first quarter. No. 10 took over for San Francisco at the 19 yard line on 3rd-and-6 and connected with Brandon Aiyuk for a four-yard gain, setting Robbie Gould up for a 33-yard field goal. Onthe 49ers next possession, Garoppolo led a four-play touchdown-scoring drive that was capped off by a 38-yard TD reception by tight end Ross Dwelley. His second four-play, touchdown-scoring drive came later in the second quarter, following Dwelley’s recovery on Seattle’s muffed punt. No. 10 even ran in a touchdown on a one-yard quarterback keeper to close out San Francisco’s final drive. In his first appearance under center since the 2021 NFC Championship Game, Garoppolo went 13-of-21 for 154 yards and a touchdown.
“Felt good to be back out there,” Garoppolo said. “I feel terrible for Trey. I have 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. We’ll pick him up.”
Special Teams Makes Its Mark
All three phases of the ball had a hand in Sunday’s win over of the Seahawks. The most notable special teams play came in the second half of the game, following a muffed punt by Seattle. Second-year cornerback Deommodore Lenoir made contact with loose ball and Dwelley was able to recover it to set the 49ers up on Seattle’s 22 yard line. San Francisco scored its second touchdown on the ensuing drive.
Jeff Wilson Jr. Steps Up in Elijah Mitchell’s Absence
The 49ers fifth-year running back was the team’s leading rusher on Sunday, gaining 84 yards on 18 carries and was inches shy of scoring his first rushing touchdown of the 2022 season. Wilson Jr. was tasked with taking over as the team’s No. 1 running back with Elijah Mitchell being placed on the Injured Reserve list earlier in the week. This was a big moment for Wilson Jr., who was the team’s leading rusher of the 2020 season and faced a major setback in 2021 due to a knee injury. His 84 yards on the ground accounted for nearly half of San Francisco’s 189 total rushing yards.