Trey Lance “excited” for his first career start

San Francisco 49ers v Philadelphia Eagles
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Rookie quarterbacks Mac Jones, Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson, Davis Mills and Justin Fields have combined to start 16 games. It has not gone well.

Teams starting a rookie quarterback are a combined 3-13, with Jones, Lawrence, Wilson and Mills having the 26th, 29th, 30th and 31st passer ratings respectively among the 31 quarterbacks who qualify. Fields has not thrown enough passes to qualify.

Trey Lance will make his first start for the 49ers on Sunday hoping for better results.

I’m excited, but I’m not going to make it bigger than what it is,” Lance said, via Nick Wagoner of ESPN. “I was hoping Jimmy (Garoppolo) would be healthy, but he’s done an awesome job and him and Nate (Sudfeld) have helped me out a ton this week and (quarterbacks coach) Rich (Scangarello) and coach (Kyle) Shanahan as well. So, I’m excited for the opportunity.”

Garoppolo did not practice all week with a strained and bruised right calf, and the 49ers have ruled him out. Lance played 39 snaps in the second half of the Week 4 loss to the Seahawks in relief of Garoppolo, giving the rookie his most extensive playing time.

Lance, at 21 years, 154 days old Sunday, will become the fourth-youngest quarterback at the time of his first NFL start, per Wagoner. He is attempting to become only the second quarterback selected in the first round to win his first start against a team that’s 4-0 or better, joining Phil Simms in 1979.

The Cardinals are 4-0.

“I’m excited to see him play,” Shanahan said. “I know he’s got the ability to do a lot of things, but it’s going to be his first time out there for the whole game. I’m just pumped to see him play, but I don’t go into it expecting anything. You try to prepare a guy as good as you can from our standpoint. I know he’s done his part preparing and when Sunday comes that’s usually the spot where you get to have fun and cut it loose and you live with the results.”