49ers’ Brock Purdy suffers elbow injury in NFC title game, undefeated streak ends

Jan 29, 2023, 1:48 PM | Updated: 5:02 pm

San Francisco 49ers quarterback and Gilbert native Brock Purdy’ improbable run from last pick in the draft to unbeaten NFL starter ended Sunday in the NFC Championship game against the Philadelphia Eagles.

The Perry High School alum went down early with a right elbow injury on the first drive of the game. Eagles edge rusher and former Arizona Cardinal Haason Reddick strip-sacked the rookie for the early takeaway and made contact with Purdy’s forearm area during his throwing motion.

Purdy was looked at on the sideline and tried to warm up, but the 49ers turned to their journeyman backup, Josh Johnson.

The young QB was ruled questionable to return but checked back in during the third quarter after Johnson left the field with an head injury.

Eagles defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh hit Johnson’s arm on the first series of the second half as he threw, and the veteran hit his head on the turf. Johnson went to the locker room to be evaluated for a concussion, and Purdy re-entered the game to hand the ball off before a punt.

The 49ers only dressed two quarterbacks, so an emergency option like running back Christian McCaffrey was the only other choice.

Purdy finished the game with four tosses — two after he checked back in — as he was limited by his elbow.

The Eagles won the game 31-7 and will head to Super Bowl LVII at State Farm Stadium.

The 49ers have played with four quarterbacks this season, tied for the most in the NFL with the Cardinals, Panthers, Rams, Bears and Jets, none of which made the playoffs.

The former Perry standout and Gatorade Arizona Player of the Year jumped into the QB1 spot for the 49ers on Dec. 4 after Jimmy Garoppolo suffered a season-ending broken foot.

Purdy started the final five games of the regular season, went undefeated for San Francisco and kept that momentum with a pair of playoff wins against the Seahawks and Cowboys. He was the third rookie to win multiple playoff games in NFL history.

He was the final pick in the 2022 NFL Draft out of Iowa State after a storied run at Perry.

Purdy earned the Gatorade Arizona Player of the Year and the Ed Doherty Award as a senior in 2017 and led Perry to the 6A state title game. Purdy’s sensational high school career came to a close in a 49-42 loss to Chandler, though, a game the future 49er threw for 322 yards and five touchdowns.

While he no longer represents an Arizona team — a division rival at that — Sunday gave Purdy the opportunity to win a trophy in the Valley.

He now enters what is a question-filled offseason for the 49ers when it comes to quarterback. Week 1 starter and 2021 first-rounder Trey Lance missed most of the season with an ankle injury and Garoppolo is a free agent.

Was Purdy’s stretch at the end of the season and into the playoffs enough for “Mr. Irrelevant” to be considered for starter in 2023?

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