The San Francisco 49ers could be watching Brock Purdy throw the football sooner than originally anticipated.
Following successful surgery on his throwing elbow on the morning of Friday, March 10, NFL Network insider Mike Garafolo revealed that the 2022 rookie quarterback — who guided the Niners to the NFC title game — has an expectation of being able to throw the ball at least a month before training camp.
“49ers QB Brock Purdy underwent successful surgery on his elbow today, source says. It was the anticipated UCL (ulnar collateral ligament) repair with an internal brace. The expectation is Purdy will begin throwing in three months and build up his strength from there,” Garafolo reported.
Three months would mean June for Purdy and the 49ers — one month before the team reports to late July training camp. It was originally thought by many analysts and fans that the seventh rounder may not be ready that early, especially with his surgery originally set for February 22 getting delayed until March due to ongoing swelling according to The Athletic’s Jeff Howe and Matt Barrows. Both insiders add that Dr. Keith Meister, who’s a team physician for the Texas Rangers of Major League Baseball, was who Purdy met with.
With June as the anticipated time frame for Purdy to start throwing, it puts him on track to be ready to play for the 2023 season opener.
Fans & Analysts Sound Off on Purdy News
There were 49er fans who took to Twitter to pray for the successful surgery of “Mr. Irrelevant.”
Now, there’s excitement among the 49ers Faithful.
The Athletic’s 49ers insider David Lombardi called the timeframe “great news” while adding how the internal brace is what can get him fully ready for Week 1. He added how the Purdy news was exactly what the Niners needed to hear with five days left until the start of the free agency signing period.
“The Brock Purdy surgery discovery news was what the 49ers needed to properly plan their offseason. They have it now — in the form of the best news possible — right before the start of free agency,” Lombardi said, who added how the 49ers can bring back Nick Mullens as “QB3.”
Could 49ers Still Seek a QB?
There have been constant chatter about the 49ers needing to add another QB in their room given the Purdy timetable, plus only being down to him and 2022 Week 1 starter Trey Lance. Already, veteran Jimmy Garoppolo isn’t expected to return to S.F. especially when free agency ramps up on March 15.
Names like seven-time Super Bowl winner Tom Brady, Super Bowl 45 champ Aaron Rodgers, former Kyle Shanahan QB Matt Ryan even Los Angeles Rams unrestricted free agent Baker Mayfield have been mentioned as QB3 insurance. But with Purdy now on the road to becoming healthy by the start of the season, this can put the 49ers in a position where they likely won’t need to rush to add a QB.
Lance is also expected to be fully healthy from his broken ankle by training camp. Perhaps Lombardi’s suggestion of Mullens as a less expensive addition could come about. There’s also the NFL Draft and post draft if the Niners decide to pivot there for depth. Per this spreadsheet created by Steph Sanchez of SB Nation, the 49ers spoke with six QBs at the Hula Bowl.