49ers coach Kyle Shanahan named the team's six captains for 2022 on Thursday.

Trey Lance, the quarterback, would have been the seventh.

Shanahan's justification for stopping the captains at six was implausible.

He made a mistake at first, referring to receiver Deebo Samuel as a captain, before clarifying that Samuel came in eighth in the ballot, after Lance.

They probably don't allow seven if they don't allow eight for the coin toss. In 2020 and 2021, the 49ers had seven captains.

If Lance falters, the 49ers will find it much simpler to switch to Jimmy Garoppolo if he is not included in the lineup.

The fact that Shanahan arbitrarily decided to reduce the number of captains from seven to six after having seven for two consecutive years emphasises this idea. 

The sudden change of heart on Garoppolo casts doubt on Shanahan's claim that Lance is firmly in charge, which he made at the start of training camp, that the 49ers are now his team.

Yes, Lance is skating on thin ice. He has to deliver. He must operate the offence in the manner specified by Shanahan. Shanahan won't think twice about benching him if he doesn't.

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