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Following an injury in the NFC Championship Game, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy’s availability for the start of the 2023-24 season came into question. The team let Jimmy Garoppolo walk in free agency. They still have Trey Lance and they added Sam Darnold in free agency.
Coming into this season, it seems the 49ers quarterback depth chart depends on Purdy’s health. And, according to reports, everything is going well for the former “Mr. Irrelevant.” Purdy had surgery this offseason to repair his injured UCL.
According to the Daily Mail, both head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch are optimistic about Purdy’s availability for the regular season.
“Brock’s been great on his rehab,” Shanahan said. “He’s been as obsessed about it as you can be. That’s why he’s ahead of schedule.”
“As for best-case scenario, we’re just gonna kinda take it as it comes,” Lynch said. “The hope is he’s ready for training camp. The hope is he’s ready for the regular season.”
Reports out of 49ers camp are that both Lance and Darnold look good. But, that’s generally how camp reports work.
The guys are throwing without pads, so of course they’re playing well. The team probably feels OK if Lance or Darnold need to start a few games. But they don’t want to go into the season relying on either to have to shoulder the load.
That’s a tough thought for two guys who are both former #3 overall NFL Draft picks. The Jets drafted Sam Darnold at #3 in 2018. The 49ers traded up to select Lance at #3 in 2021.
But Purdy, a player drafted 262nd overall in 2022, is expected to start over both of them, if healthy. That’s quite a rise for Purdy and quite a fall for Darnold and Lance.
Ultimately, though, teams don’t care where you’re drafted once you hit the league. Can you help them win games or can’t you? Though Lance hasn’t had a chance to prove that either way, he hasn’t impressed anyone.
Darnold has struggled to a career 21-34 record as a starter. Purdy went 5-0 after replacing an injured Jimmy Garoppolo and helped the team reach the NFC Championship game.
That’s the guy the 49ers are hoping to see under center in Pittsburgh on September 10, 2023.
Follow Dan Zaksheske on X – formerly known as Twitter: @RealDanZak