The San Francisco 49ers just gave its fanbase an encouraging update on quarterback Brock Purdy as he continues recovering from a torn elbow ligament. It turns out the quarterback is moving ahead of schedule.
Purdy suffered a torn UCL during the first quarter of the Niners’ NFC Championship loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, with the initial timeline anticipating that he could start throwing in June. According to The Athletic’s Matt Barrows, the 49ers confirmed during the team’s first OTAs practice that the quarterback is about a week ahead of schedule.
“The biggest news item from 49ers OTA today is that Brock Purdy is on track to start throwing a football next week. That’s about a week earlier than the projection when he had his surgery in March,” Barrows wrote on Twitter on May 23.
Purdy’s story needs little re-hashing for most NFL fans, as the former Iowa State quarterback went 7-1 as a starter after being thrust into a starting role due to QB Trey Lance suffering a season-ending ankle injury.
The injury update is a positive one, but it further highlights the difficult decision San Francisco will have when it comes to Lance and Purdy.
Lance Speaks on Upcoming QB Competition
After the opening day of OTAs, Lance spoke to the media about his perspective heading into the 2023 season. It’s been a less-than-ideal start for the former North Dakota State star after having limited opportunities in 2021 and an injury cutting short his sophomore season.
Lance is only focused on doing the best he can for the 49ers, but was also quick to give Purdy respect for his accomplishments in the 2022 season.
“My opportunity is just to come in & compete & that’s all I wanted. I don’t want to take anything away from Brock & no one should be able to take anything away from Brock. He did what he did last yr. & deserves all the credit in the world,” Lance said, according to 95.7 The Game’s John Dickinson.
Lance is 2-2 as a starter for the 49ers, throwing for 797 passing yards and five TDs over his 8 total appearances. He also has totaled 235 rushing yards and another score according to Pro Football Reference.
Third 49ers QB Vying for Job
Besides Lance and Purdy, San Francisco QB Sam Darnold is also hoping to get his opportunity. The former New York Jets and Carolina Panthers passer has not lived up being the third overall pick of the 2018 NFL draft, but has another chance with head coach Kyle Shanahan.
During an appearance on Sportscenter, ESPN reporter Jeremy Fowler stated that Darnold and Lance will split first-team practice reps while Purdy rehabs.
“Both will get extended runs with the first-team reps while Brock Purdy continues to rehab. He [Purdy] has the inside track on the starter job once he does return… The Sam Darnold signing is really interesting to a lot of teams I’ve talked to. They believe that Darnold is going to push for meaningful snaps on this team, as early as Week 1. They believe that his major talent has gone largely untapped. Maybe the 49ers can bring something out of him.”
Darnold was a national star during his time with the USC Trojans, but his NFL career is yet to pan out. Shanahan has shown the ability to win with various QBs, and this could be the 26-year-old’s best chance to take the next step forward.