Brock Purdy overcame his injury on Thursday to lead the San Francisco 49ers to a 21-13 victory over the Seattle Seahawks and the NFC West title, battling the pain of an oblique/rib injury to continue what proved be an amazing start to his NFL career.
Until just hours before the game started, it was unclear if Purdy would even be able to start.
Purdy had a questionable injury designation and coach Kyle Shanahan said in his post-game press conference that he wasn’t sure Purdy would be able to survive the whole game, even if he originally took the field. But Purdy proved durable and sensational.
“He’s definitely the most poised recruit I’ve ever had. He’s been like this since he got here,” Shanahan said. “He was ready all week, although he didn’t know if he could go or not. … And under the circumstances, we had no other choice, we were going to see how long he could last, and we were ready to go with [backup] Josh [Johnson]. But he just got comfortable, he got better as the game went on, and it was pretty amazing.”
In the end, Purdy was able to hold on and take the start, and barely showed the pain that plagued him as he led his offense through four full quarters and to victory.
“Definitely another level, it was another level for me just watching someone do it,” Shanahan said. “So that he could just play, let alone play the way he did, to protect the ball he sometimes struggled to move a bit, but…
“The team had a lot of respect for him before this game, but a lot more now.”
Purdy finished the game 17 for 26 passing for 217 yards, two touchdowns and no turnovers. It was his third straight game with two passing touchdowns, making Purdy the first rookie quarterback to throw more than two passing touchdowns in three straight games since Justin Herbert did it in 2020, and the only 49ers rookie to accomplish the feat, per NFL Search.
Additionally, with Purdy’s final passer rating of 117.0, he joined Aaron Rodgers as the only quarterback since at least 1950 to have a passer rating over 115 in each of their first two starts, according to NFL Research.
While some might be surprised by Purdy’s sudden emergence, tight end George Kittle said after seeing how Purdy prepared all season, even before becoming the starter, he’s not not shocked by the way he played.
“What Brock has done since he arrived is he had faith in the OTAs…and he put up the best defense in the NFL, he got into preseason games and was putting balls in” , Kittle said on Prime Video’s post-game show. . “He’s had confidence since he came into the building, and everyone on this team felt that. And he was just waiting for an opportunity, and unfortunately, with all the quarterback injuries, he finally got his chance.”
Although Purdy’s movement was limited by his injuries, he was still able to finish a crucial late game using his legs. After the Seahawks made it an eight-point game with 3:35 left, the 49ers offense faced a third-and-one. Purdy took the snap and rolled to the right, sliding towards the marker while holding the ball for the first down. This conversion kept the player moving and the clock ticking, and ultimately the game ended without Seattle having a chance to tie it.
“(He’s) just a smart player,” defensive end Nick Bosa told Prime Video’s Kaylee Hartung. “It shows how experienced he is for someone who isn’t very experienced. But I’m proud of him, I’m super happy for him and I’m excited to continue with him.”