NFC Notes: 49ers, Cardinals, Rams


49ers QB Trey Lance is taking over as the starter in 2021 after a year of mostly watching and learning, with a couple of spot starts. Ready nor not, San Francisco is rolling with him, and HC Kyle Shanahan seemed to acknowledge there could be a learning curve for a player that entered the league as a redshirt sophomore with just a single season of college starts under his belt all the way back in 2019. 

“Is Trey ready to take it on his shoulders?” Shanahan said via NBC Sports’ Peter King. “He shouldn’t be. He hasn’t gone through it enough. I believe in him as a man, as a person. I believe in his talent. I don’t think he is going to make or break our season, just like in 2019 and last year, I didn’t think Jimmy [Garoppolo] was going to make or break our season. But what sucks is when you’re learning how to play and you’re not there yet, how do you not get worse sometimes when that pressure’s on you and you need to go through the growing pains?”


Cardinals WR Greg Dortch was cut multiple times and spent time on a number of different practice squads. He considered calling it a career and focusing on life after football, but it appears his playing days have found a new lease on life.

They didn’t think I was good enough,” Dortch said, via the team’s official website. “That’s how I looked at it. I thought about getting a regular job (at one point). It was that serious.

Cardinals HC Kliff Kingsbury knows that Dortch has the talent but ultimately wanted him to have a better grasp of the offense so that he can be in a position to play fast and not have to think.

We watched it every day in practice last year when he was on the scout team,” Kingsbury said. “He’s got a tremendous ability to make plays. I’ve said it throughout the camp; his biggest deal was getting the offense down where he knows it inside and outside. So, he can play fast in our system consistently.


  • Rams RB Cam Akers and RB Darrell Henderson are dealing with “soft tissue” injuries, according to HC Sean McVay. Both running backs were held out of practice Monday and will remain out until they’re able to play at full speed in a team setting. (Jourdan Rodrigue)

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