49ers’ Purdy Facing Six-Month Recovery after Confirmation of UCL Tear

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy sustained a torn UCL in his right (throwing) elbow, an MRI scan Monday revealed, and his recovery from surgery is expected to take six months, NFL Media reported.

Purdy, a rookie who was the last player selected in the 2022 NFL Draft, won his first seven starts for the 49ers, including playoff games against the Seattle Seahawks and Dallas Cowboys.

He was hit as he threw a pass on the final play of San Francisco’s first offensive series in Sunday’s 31-7 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC Championship. He returned to the game in the third quarter after Josh Johnson – the fourth quarterback the 49ers have had to play this season – sustained a concussion. Purdy was limited to handing the ball off and one short throw after his return.

Purdy emerged as one of the NFL’s biggest stories this season after he took the reins of a 49ers offense that lost second-year pro Trey Lance to a broken ankle in Week 2 and Jimmy Garoppolo to a broken foot in Week 13. His efficiency placed him among the league’s elite quarterbacks, and he quickly earned the trust of coach Kyle Shanahan, as analyst Marc Trestman of The 33rd Team recently examined in depth

“I can’t believe anybody in the building was thinking Mr. Irrelevant was going to play as well as he did, so there was an element of football lottery luck there,” said analyst Eric Mangini of The 33rd Team.

A natural question for the 49ers now is how will this latest injury affect their planning for the position next season. Garoppolo is about to become an unrestricted free agent, and updates on Lance’s recovery have been sparse. If Purdy’s recovery takes six months and he endures no setbacks or complications, that means an August return, shortly after training camp has started.

Purdy helped the 49ers continue a win streak that stretched to 12 games before the loss at Philadelphia. He passed for 1,611 yards, 16 touchdowns and just four interceptions. 

A torn ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) of the elbow is most commonly found in baseball pitchers and other athletes who utilize an overhand throwing motion.

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Brock Purdy Isn’t Tom Brady, but Situation Bears Resemblance

Tom Brady had a vintage performance on Monday Night Football this past week when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat the New Orleans Saints after trailing by six points with only a few minutes to go. Naturally, he brought them back to win that game.

​Then, last week, if you look at the 49ers, Jimmy Garoppolo, who gives them the best chance to go to a Super Bowl goes down. Who comes in? Brock Purdy.

He comes into that game in his first series when Jimmy G goes down, and they kick a field goal. Purdy stays in for the rest of the game, and they beat the Miami Dolphins, probably the hottest team in the NFL.

Purdy went 25 of 37 passing with two touchdown passes. And when you look at what he did — more importantly, you hear from his teammates, guys like Fred Warner, the defensive captain in San Francisco, and what he had to say it seems like the 49ers can win the Super Bowl with Purdy at quarterback.

All-Pro Left Tackle Trent Williams spoke about Purdy’s leadership earlier this week, saying “You would think he’s been in the league 15 years.” Williams continued, “If you’re talking, he’ll say shut your a– up.’ He ain’t no timid rookie feeling his way around.”

If you come into that huddle and you act like you know what you’re doing, you sound like you know what you’re doing, you play, and everyone just assumes you know what you’re doing. That’s the way Purdy was. He came in, sat there and took over that team.

The Brady Path

We look at Brady in the twilight of his career and think about what he’s really done, the greatness that he exhibits week in, and week out on the football field. He played 20 years in New England, and now the last three in Tampa Bay; 23 years in total.

He’s won seven Super Bowls, six with the Patriots and one with the Bucs – in his first season in Tampa. He’s been the MVP of the Super Bowl five times.

When you watch him come out, and he gives you that “let’s go” before every game, you see the fire in his eyes, the passion in his heart and the resolve he has, and everything he does on a football field.

I think about what drives Brady, what gives him that kind of sense of competitiveness week in and week out. I believe it goes back to the beginning of how he entered the NFL. He was a sixth-round pick. He sat for a year behind Drew Bledsoe. He only got a chance to start because Bledsoe got hurt in Brady’s second year.

Brady was motivated, partly motivated by the doubters. He’s embraced the challenges. He inspires everybody else around him to think the way he thinks. The key: proving people wrong. To be the best at what you do. That’s Tom Brady.

How ironic he’s going to play the San Francisco 49ers this week. It’s actually the place where he grew up and San Francisco was his childhood team.

Brady was chosen in the sixth round of the draft. With Purdy, this is Mr. Irrelevant. We’re talking about the last pick in the draft.

This makes you kind of wonder as you sit there and think about the twilight of Brady and the emergence of Purdy. Could this be kind of a similar situation?

We can look at this and sometimes wonder if you’re not molded in the NFL based on how you enter the NFL. Brady and Purdy. Both of them had to sit and wait for an injury to the player in front of them to get their opportunity.

The one thing about both these guys, because of how they entered the NFL, there were always doubters. There were always questions about who they are. But what you see from them is how they entered the league has fueled them, which can ultimately, like Brady, define them.

I’m not saying Purdy is going to be Brady, but I would say let’s give him a chance because sometimes, you know what, that’s all you need. And let your actions speak for themselves.

Brock, good luck going against the G-O-A-T. But who knows? I’m not comparing the two as players, but the start of this journey sounds pretty familiar.

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