Former Bison QB Trey Lance will practice but not play in Minnesota
The former NDSU star and San Francisco starter will participate in two practices Aug. 17-18 at Minnesota's training facility but won't play against the Vikings in a Saturday, Aug. 20 exhibition game.
SANTA CLARA, Calif. — The tentative preseason plan for Trey Lance: two games, two joint practices.
Head coach Kyle Shanahan said that the San Francisco 49ers' quarterback likely will play in the exhibition opener Friday against the Packers at Levi's Stadium and in the preseason finale Aug. 25 at Houston.
Shanahan doesn't expect Lance, along with many other front-line players, to participate in the second preseason game, Aug. 20 at Minnesota.
That plan won't thrill those who were eager to see Lance play in a homecoming game. Lance is from Marshall, Minn., which is about 150 miles from Minneapolis, and at North Dakota State University in Fargo, N.D.
The second preseason game will be preceded by two joint practices, Aug. 17-18, against the Vikings. Shanahan believes joint practices have more benefit than exhibition games, partly because the risk of injury is less, and he's mindful of the mere four-day break between the final two preseason games.
The 49ers visit the Bears in the regular-season opener Sept. 11.
Shanahan said he hopes Lance will play "a little" in the first and third games, "and then we'll have 17 days to get ready for Week 1."
Asked about his preference for joint practices, Shanahan said: "I'd prefer that's all we did, all three weeks. And never play in a game."
Lance's uneven training camp included a poor performance in Sunday's practice, which was followed by an off day Monday. Lance completed 4 of 12 passes and threw an interception right to linebacker Fred Warner.
"I think it's gone kind of how you'd expect it," Shanahan said. "I think he's had some real good days. He's had a couple of rough days. I thought he had a rough day his last practice. It's going to be good to see how he bounces back today. But I've been real pleased with Trey."
Lance did have a steadier practice Tuesday. He completed 12 of 17 passes and threw a touchdown pass to wide receiver Deebo Samuel in a red-zone period.
Eric Branch covers the 49ers for The San Francisco Chronicle — www.sfchronicle.com — distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.