Trey Lance, the No. 3 pick of the 2021 NFL Draft, opened the season as the starting quarterback in the Bay Area. Unfortunately, Lance suffered a season-ending ankle injury in Week 2 against the Seattle Seahawks.
Jimmy Garoppolo, the team’s primary starter from 2017 to 2021, took over as the starter from there. But the 31-year-old Garoppolo suffered what wound up being a foot injury in Week 12 against the Miami Dolphins, forcing San Fran to go with third-stringer and rookie Brock Purdy.
The 2022 Mr. Irrelevant defied all expectations by winning each of his five regular season starts, throwing 13 touchdowns against only four interceptions. Purdy led San Fran to the NFC Championship Game, where they fell to the Philadelphia Eagles (Purdy was extremely limited in the game after suffering a UCL injury).
During an appearance on Von Miller’s “The Voncast” show, Kittle stated that the starting quarterback position is “Brock’s job to lose.”
Kittle noted that Lance hasn’t had a fair opportunity yet to assert himself as a starter. The latter, of course, spent the majority of 2021 as the backup to Garoppolo.
At the end of the day, having to decide between two young and talented quarterbacks is a good problem for Kyle Shanahan and company to have. They obviously think the world of Lance, but Purdy’s results in his adventurous rookie season speak for themselves.
Purdy will undergo surgery on his UCL tear on Feb. 22, and he’s expected to be out of action for six months. If all goes accordingly, he’ll be back well before the start of the 2023 regular season.
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