Brock Purdy’s ongoing recovery from elbow surgery has its next step in sight.
49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan told reporters on Tuesday that Purdy is expected to start throwing next week.
Shanahan added that while there’s no set timeline on Purdy’s on-field return, the team doesn’t “have any reason to think otherwise” that the QB will be able to get himself ready for Week 1.
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Purdy on Tuesday shared that same optimism, but the second-year QB didn’t want to look too far ahead.
“I feel good, my arm is feeling good,” Purdy said. “To say I’ll be ready at this time or this time, we are not trying to label any kind of timeline. But for sure it’s a goal to be ready by the season and if that’s the case then great, but like I said we are taking it one day at a time. We don’t want to say anything that we regret down the road or whatever.”
Purdy was initially given a 6-8 month recovery timeline after undergoing elbow surgery on his throwing arm in early March. That forecast included Purdy being able to throw three months after surgery, which lines up with next week.
A healthy Purdy for Week 1 would be the best-case scenario for the 49ers, but the club has done its due diligence to ensure it has a deep and qualified QB room for 2023.
With Trey Lance fully recovered from a fractured ankle entering 2023, an injury that prompted Purdy’s breakout season as a rookie, San Francisco added veterans Sam Darnold and Brandon Allen into the fold this offseason.
Shanahan said Lance, last year’s Week 1 starter, got all the first-team reps over the first two days of OTAs, but Darnold is expected to get his turn as the days progress.
“We have two guys who are talented enough to be taken in the top five of the draft and we have another guy who played like it last year,” Shanahan said.
Adding depth to the QB room certainly takes some of the pressure off Purdy’s impending return. The investment comes after the club experienced a nightmarish scenario during the NFC Championship Game when Purdy injured his elbow, Josh Johnson suffered a concussion and an ineffective Purdy was forced to finish the game. The league on Monday approved a proposal that allows teams to have a third QB active on game days without using a roster spot.
While the Niners brass has already given Purdy assurance that the starting job is his to lose, the 23-year-old is only focused on his recovery, which should get a clearer timetable next week.
“For me, I just try to focus on where I am at right now. For me, it’s to get my arm healthy,” Purdy said. “To say all these things and say you want to be this kind of guy or that kind of guy. I think in a sense it’s foolish for myself to think like that. For me, I come into work every day, trying to get my arm right. I’m trying to be around the guys and do what it takes to win.
“We want to win a Super Bowl here. It’s just simple as that. For me, I just do my job and everything else will fall into place.”
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