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San Francisco 49ers’ Brock Purdy suffered UCL tear, out at least 6 months

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy went down early in the team’s loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in Sunday’s NFC Championship Game.

The rookie seventh-round pick suffered an elbow injury on San Francisco’s first drive after being hit by Eagles Pro Bowler Haason Reddick.

While Purdy did return to action in the second half, it was only in an emergency situation when backup Josh Johnson suffered a concussion. He couldn’t throw the ball more than five yards, leading to speculation about the severity of the injury.

We now have confirmation on this. It’s not good. According to multiple media reports, Purdy suffered a complete tear of his UCL in his throwing elbow.

NFL Media’s Tom Pelissero notes that the hope is Purdy will not have to undergo Tommy John Surgery and should be back in time for training camp. If Purdy does indeed have to undergo full reconstruction, the timeline for a return changes substantially. For comparison’s sake, MLB pitchers who have to go under the knife via Tommy John Surgery typically miss more than a calendar year.

Coined Mr. Irrelevant as the last pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, Purdy took over for an injured Jimmy Garoppolo back in December. He proceeded to lead San Francisco to seven consecutive wins while putting up an historical stretch prior to Sunday’s ugly loss to Philadelphia.

brock purdy inury
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

This injury news complicates things big time for the 49ers and their quarterback situation. Garoppolo is a free agent and is unlikely to return next season. The No. 3 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, Trey Lance suffered a lower-body injury back in Week 2. Reports indicate that there’s not much confidence in him being a starter-caliber quarterback in San Francisco.

As for Brock Purdy’s future, it was indicated ahead of the NFC Championship Game that he’s set to be QB1 in 2023. This injury update puts that into question. San Francisco will now likely be linked to the likes of Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady on a near never-ending basis over the next several weeks.