Brock Purdy, quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, is expected to make his return to throwing next week following elbow surgery performed in the summer.
Purdy, still recovering from an injury sustained in last year’s NFC Championship Game, was on the field Tuesday to watch his teammates at the Niners’ first open practice of the offseason.
After having surgery on March 10, coach Kyle Shanahan has announced that Purdy can begin throwing a football again next week. He should be ready for training camp and the start of the season on September 10 in Pittsburgh.
“We’re hoping for Week 1 and I feel pretty optimistic about that,” Shanahan said. “That’s what we’re hoping for. … Usually that doesn’t mean that’s the day he comes back. Usually you have to come back before that to make that goal, and that’s the goal we’re hoping for. I have no reason to think differently.”
Nearly three months into his recovery, Purdy said that his arm is feeling excellent and that he is looking forward to restarting his throwing program next week, which is roughly a week sooner than initial expectations.
But he isn’t willing to speculate on when he’ll be back in the lineup.
“To say I’m going to be ready by this time or this time, we’re not trying to label any kind of timeline like that. For sure, that’s a goal,” he said of playing the opener. “You want to be ready for the season. If that’s the case, great.”
On January 29, in the NFC championship game against Philadelphia, Purdy tore the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow on the first drive of a 31-7 defeat.
The swelling in his elbow delayed surgery for more than a month, and he has since endured the arduous process of rehabilitation while facing the unknowns of his recovery.
Saying, “It’s my first time going through rehab from surgery and all that,” he expressed his novelty with the process. Getting back into the swing of things over the offseason is no big deal. But after observing males start a practice and other such activities, you realize that you really want to participate. There’s also the element of competition to consider. But I can still take in the movie, attend the meetings, and develop as a person.
In his first season with the 49ers, Purdy impressed enough to start the conference championship game despite being the team’s final draft selection. Before losing to Philadelphia in the conference championship game, he had won his first seven starts.
In the regular season, Purdy passed for 1,374 yards, 13 touchdowns, and only four interceptions, enough for the greatest passer rating ever for a rookie who attempted at least 200 passes (108).
Even though San Francisco had made a significant investment when the Niners moved up to choose Trey Lance third overall in 2021 after that performance general manager John Lynch called him the “leader in the clubhouse” in terms of becoming the starter.
Given the magnitude of the task at hand, Purdy deemed it “foolish” to place too much emphasis on such remarks.
He bluntly stated, “We want to win a Super Bowl here, and that’s it.” I figure if I do my best, things will work out. I’m simply focusing on being in the moment. I’m not interested in hearing about the gossip or what other people have said. Certainly, I am grateful for their kind words.
Lance, who sat on the bench for the majority of his rookie year after suffering an ankle injury in Week 2 and missing the rest of the year, is fully recovered today.
With Purdy sitting on the sidelines, new free agency signing Sam Darnold has been working with the second-team offense during the first two days of practice while Lance has been working with the first.
Shanahan has stated that he plans to switch the starting quarterbacks around at some point.