Who is the 49ers backup QB and emergency QB for Super Bowl 58?

Health needs to be on Brock Purdy's side if the San Francisco 49ers want to win the Super Bowl.

Brock Purdy, San Francisco 49ers
Brock Purdy, San Francisco 49ers / Kevin Sabitus/GettyImages

And so we meet again... The San Francisco 49ers will take on the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl 58 on Sunday evening. Kyle Shanahan's team met Andy Reid's squad in the big game four years ago down in Miami. Kansas City came out on top, while the 49ers still have not hoisted the Lombardi Trophy since Steve Young and the rest of the 1994 team annihilated the then-San Diego Chargers.

San Francisco has been championship-caliber throughout much of the Shanahan era in the Bay Area. Yes, there have been down years, but they have been a playoff team more often than not since 2017. Conversely, the Chiefs have been a perennial playoff team ever since Reid took over the operation in 2013. With Patrick Mahomes as his starting quarterback, the Chiefs always make it to the final four.

Truth be told, the same thing applies to 49ers starting quarterback Brock Purdy. Mr. Irrelevant guided San Francisco to the NFC Championship game last season before suffering a ghastly elbow injury (which was later diagnosed as a UCL tear) vs. the Philadelphia Eagles. In his second conference title bout, Purdy and the 49ers prevailed over a reckless Detroit Lions team who always went for it on fourth down before they fricking blew it, man...

Purdy had the injury repaired in the offseason, opting for an unconventional method rather than traditional Tommy John.

Should Purdy have to spend some time on the sidelines, who is his backup and what is he all about?

Super Bowl 58: Who is Brock Purdy's backup Sam Darnold?

Purdy's backup is former No. 3 overall pick Sam Darnold. San Francisco is Darnold's third NFL team after failing as a starter with the flightless New York Jets and the dreck of the league Carolina Panthers. He was a former USC star and one player that Colin Cowherd would never stop talking about. As it turns out, Darnold is about as inherently reckless as they come, and he has since busted.

The talent has always been there, but durability and in-game decisions have been his two bugaboos of sorts. Whether it was getting mono while in New York or seeing ghosts playing for Adam Gase, it went to hell in a handbasket faster for Darnold with the Jets than you can say Clay Helton. As a backup, Darnold is fine, but watching him play for any extended stretch will have you feeling nervous.

When it comes to the backup quarterback battle, Kansas City wins in a landslide, as Blaine Gabbert is the more methodical and refined player at this point of his decade-plus career as a pro quarterback.

Super Bowl 58: Who is the San Francisco 49ers' emergency QB?

Now when it comes to the emergency quarterback department, the 49ers are in far better shape than the Chiefs. Kansas City only has Patrick Mahomes and Gabbert on their 53-man roster. San Francisco employs former Arkansas star and career backup Brandon Allen. He has had success before playing at places like Cincinnati and Denver. Allen is overqualified to be a No. 3 option, but to each his own.

What we are seeing here is the 49ers are not going to let quarterback depth be the reason why they lose Super Bowl 58. Purdy may play poorly, as could Darnold or even Allen backing him up. However, the 49ers clearly learned their lesson about what can go wrong in last year's NFC Championship defeat to the Eagles in Philadelphia. For Shanahan being a quarterback whisperer, that was brutal...

Even as the narrative underdog, all the pressure is on Shanahan to finally win a Super Bowl as a head coach.

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