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Josh Johnson replaces Brock Purdy in NFC Championship: Running down the 49ers QB’s resume

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy was replaced by backup Josh Johnson in the first quarter of the NFC Championship game. But who is the 36-year-old NFL veteran?

The 49ers are known for having an elite defense, however, they got an immediate taste of how ferocious the defense of the Philadephia Eagles is early in their NFC Championship matchup on Sunday.

After an unsuccessful opening drive, and following a touchdown by the Eagles, San Francisco QB Brock Purdy was hit on the arm while throwing a pass. It was eventually revealed that the rookie suffered an elbow injury on the play, was forced to the locker room, and was listed as questionable to return to the game. Replacing him in the biggest matchup of the season for San Francisco was fourth-string signal-caller Josh Johnson.

Chances are many fans are unfamiliar with the exploits of Johnson and his unexpectedly long career in the NFL. With that in mind, let’s run down the resume of Josh Johnson.

Who is San Francisco 49ers backup Josh Johnson?

josh johnson, 49ers
Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Josh Johnson has actually been around the league for over a decade, has competed for 13 different teams and his 2022-2023 campaign with the 49ers is his fourth tenure with the organization.

Johnson was originally drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the fifth round of the 2008 NFL Draft out of San Diego. He would play three seasons in Tampa, appearing in 26 games, and was winless in the five starts he made for the team.

Following his stint with the Bucs, the Oakland native was a football traveling man. Playing in Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Washington before eventually taking his talents to the Alliance of American Football and the XFL at the beginning of the last decade.

Much of his career has been spent as a practice squad talent, just like he was earlier this season for the Broncos. The San Francisco 49ers signed Josh Johnson in December following a season-ending injury to Jimmy Garappolo.

With third-string QB Brock Purdy moved up to the starting job with Garappolo, and Week 1 starter Trey Lance out for the season, Johnson became the team’s No. 2 starter and it is why he end up being under center in the 2023 NFC Championship for the 49ers.

In a crazy twist of fate, Johnson was eventually knocked out of the game with an apparent concussion in the third quarter. He was replaced by a returning Purdy.