SANTA CLARA — One day after revealing quarterback Brock Purdy was in the NFL’s concussion protocol, there was a promising sign for the 49ers.
When the 49ers began practice on Thursday, Purdy was on the field going through individual work.
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It is a sign that he is progressing through the NFL’s protocol and appears to be on pace to play in the 49ers’ game against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday at Levi’s Stadium.
Coach Kyle Shanahan said on Wednesday that Purdy had enough time to be cleared in order to play against the Bengals. If Purdy is not cleared to play, backup Sam Darnold would make his first start as a member of the 49ers.
Purdy first reported concussion symptoms on the 49ers' flight back to the Bay Area from Minnesota late Monday night.
“He started getting symptoms on the plane,” Shanahan said Wednesday. “So we found that out when we landed. We were all pretty asleep. Then he got all checked up (Tuesday) and now he's in the protocol.”
San Francisco 49ers
Under the NFL’s return-to-play protocol, Purdy appears to have advanced at least to the fourth of five phases. The fourth stage is described as “club-based non-contact training drills,” whereas a player may participate in non-contact football activities, such as throwing.
Purdy was seen on the 49ers’ practice field rolling out and throwing passes. It appears possible Purdy could receive full clearance as early as Friday or Saturday.
Purdy was likely injured on a quarterback sneak attempt in the fourth quarter of the 49ers’ 22-17 loss on Monday when Minnesota Vikings linebacker Jordan Hicks delivered a helmet-to-helmet hit on Purdy as he struggled for a first down. Hicks could be subject to a fine if the NFL deems his actions unnecessary.
Two plays later, Purdy threw a costly interception to end a 49ers scoring threat. In the closing minute, Purdy threw his second interception, as defensive back Camryn Bynum collected his second pick to seal the Vikings victory.