When the San Francisco 49ers used the final pick in the 2022 NFL Draft on Iowa State quarterback Brock Purdy, it likely wasn’t with the expectation that he’d start for them in the NFC Championship Game.
Fast forward a handful of months and that’s exactly what happened, however.
Purdy took over the starting job for the Niners after injuries to Trey Lance and Jimmy Garoppolo. And against all odds, the rookie signal caller not only survived, he thrived.
Purdy went 5-0 in first five regular season starts, through for 1,374 yards, 13 touchdowns and four interceptions in the process. He then led San Francisco past the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC divisional round.
But that’s where the magical rookie run would end. Purdy suffered a torn UCL in the NFC title game against the Philadelphia Eagles. The 49ers went on to lose the game and Purdy under surgery to repair the ligaments in his elbow.
Niners fans were hopeful that Purdy would return in order to start in Week 1 of the 2023 NFL season.
But Purdy told Jori Epstein of Yahoo Sports that he’s “not really sure, honestly” whether he’ll play in 2023. He then clarified those comments in an interview with Jordan Dajani of CBS Sports.
While that was a undoubtedly not what fans wanted to hear, it appears that the second-year QB may have been a little too pessimistic with his comments.
Kyle Shanahan says Brock Purdy could start throwing next week, and the Niners are hoping he's ready for Week 1 pic.twitter.com/92lvTgA47H
— 49ers on NBCS (@NBCS49ers) May 23, 2023
Niners coach Kyle Shanahan stated Tuesday that Purdy could begin throwing as early as next week and that he still hopes to have him available for Week 1 of the regular season.
“It’s not really a moving target,” Shanahan said of the recovery time. “It’s that only god knows. And it’s all estimates. So it depends what quote people have got from me, but I mean we’re hoping for Week 1.”
If Purdy is healthy, the 49ers are one of the most formidable teams in the league. If not, Trey Lance and Sam Darnold appear set to duke it out for San Francisco’s starting job.