Kyle Shanahan all but confirms the outcome of 49ers QB battle

Head coach Kyle Shanahan, San Francisco 49ers. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Head coach Kyle Shanahan, San Francisco 49ers. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /

The San Francisco 49ers have a huge quarterback battle in training camp. Head coach Kyle Shanahan all but confirmed who will be the QB1 heading into the 2023 season.

Last year, the San Francisco 49ers had to use four different quarterbacks throughout the season due to injuries. Trey Lance broke his ankle in Week 2. Jimmy Garoppolo filled in until he broke his foot in Week 13. Rookie Brock Purdy stepped up and played some really good football to help lead the 49ers to the NFC Championship Game. But then, Purdy suffered an elbow injury early on against the Philadelphia Eagles, which required offseason surgery.

This offseason, there is a battle going on in the 49ers training camp to see who will get the starting nod between Purdy, Lance, and free agent signing Sam Darnold. Well, it appears there is a favorite to get the job.

After practice on Thursday, head coach Kyle Shanahan spoke about the team’s performance. Shanahan then spoke about Purdy’s recovery from his elbow injury, saying that he was not worried. Why’s that? Because Shanahan says Purdy’s “the real deal.”

Kyle Shanahan calls Brock Purdy ‘the real deal’

"“I don’t think anyone’s back to where they were, exactly, last season. We’re going through training camp, a lot of guys had more practices than him,” Shanahan said, h/t ProFootballTalk. “He’ll get there. He’s doing some good things. We’re not worried about Brock. Brock’s the real deal, he knows how to play and we just have to have our team keep getting better and we’ll keep getting better as we go.”"

Early on in the NFC Championship Game, Purdy was hit in the right arm by linebacker Haason Reddick. Purdy had to re-enter the game after his backup Josh Johnson suffered an injury, but the first-year signal-caller could not throw a pass. It was later determined that he had suffered a torn ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) in his right elbow, which required offseason surgery.

With there being uncertainty as to whether Purdy will be cleared ahead of the season, that opened the door for Lance and Darnold to earn the starting job. The 49ers traded a lot of draft capital to move up to the No. 3 spot in the 2021 NFL Draft to select him. Lance didn’t play in his rookie season, and he was limited to just two games last season due to the aforementioned ankle injury. As for Darnold, he played with the Carolina Panthers, showing promise late in the season.

But in late July, Purdy was cleared for training camp. Purdy was always the favorite to begin the 2023 season as the starting quarterback. His case is certainly strengthened with Lance struggling in camp.

When it comes to getting back into the groove of things, Shanahan is confident in Purdy’s abilities.

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