Trey Lance is not returning this season.
From the start, Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch made it clear that Lance’s ankle dislocation and ligament damage was a season-ending injury.
But Lance was seen walking around without a walking boot in Mexico City, observing from the sidelines and traveling with the team on the road for the first time this season.
So, the questions arose. Could Lance come back? Nope.
John Lynch said on KNBR Wednesday morning that the second-year QB will not be back on the field this year.
“I don’t see that as a possibility,” Lynch said with Markus Boucher and Marcus Thompson on the Murph & Mac Show. “He did a number on his ankle. He’ll be fine long-term, but that’s a big ask to get back this year. We’re just really encouraged by the way it’s responding and by the way Trey has been working to try to make it as good as possible.”
Shanahan’s answer was no different. He told media on Wednesday that, “I haven’t been told there’s a chance,” Lance could return, even if there was a lengthy playoff run.
They said it when the injury happened and reaffirmed in sync again this week. We can put this one to bed, though there are two defensive line lynchpins with a chance to return this season.
The more confounding one is Arik Armstead, who is still dealing with a left fibula fracture/stress fracture and plantar fasciitis on his right foot. He’s been out since Week 4, did not practice Wednesday, and is not expected to play this week.
Lynch seemed cautiously optimistic about him returning at some point in the next month, if not next week.
“It’s been a long time coming back for Arik,” Lynch said. “Don’t know if he’s going to make it this week. If not, I think we’re looking really good right beyond that if things keep going.”
As for the other interior lynchpin of the defensive line, Javon Kinlaw, it’s equally uncertain. But Shanahan told reporters that this three-week period at home, without travel, gives Kinlaw a better chance to return. He stated that the team expected him to return at some point when he was placed on injured reserve.
There weren’t any other injury updates on Wednesday. Samson Ebukam was limited in practice with quad/Achilles injuries he’s been nursing for the last few weeks, Trent Williams was given a vet day, and Armstead didn’t practice.