Brock Purdy

Purdy explains challenge as ‘competitor' sitting vs. Rams

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SANTA CLARA — Week 18 has already been a huge challenge for 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy, but not in the usual way.

For the first time since becoming the 49ers starting quarterback, Purdy will sit out of the team's Week 18 matchup with the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday at Levi's Stadium.

While the Iowa State product is mentally preparing for the game, as if he were going to play, the situation has felt very different.

"For me, this is all I know," Purdy said on Thursday. "To prepare for the next game and get ready. Especially when we went out to practice and I saw my teammates doing that. Everyone dressed, ready to go, and preparing for the Rams."

Coach Kyle Shanahan had a conversation with his young signal-caller early in the week, informing him that Sam Darnold would get the start on Sunday. With the No. 1 seed in the NFC secured by the 49ers, there is no need to risk injury at the most important position in the game.

Purdy will dress on Sunday but as the club's third (emergency) quarterback - an allowance due to Purdy's own injury in the 2022 NFC Championship game and the subsequent injury of his backup, Josh Johnson.

"I'm practicing but obviously not getting to go for the game," Purdy said. "Little weird in that sense. But that's part of it, and obviously, we are doing what's best for the team and the organization. I got to remember that and have it in mind."

Purdy shared that he will have the headset on during the game to hear the play calls from Shanahan and go through his own process and reaction on the field as if he were under center.

The newly named Pro Bowler will also be helping Darnold in any way possible, just as the backup has done for the starter all season. Purdy would rather be on the field with his teammates trying to get a win, but he also understands his coach's reasoning.

The quarterback has played well after an extended break before a game. Purdy missed the entire preseason but still played well in San Francisco's Week 1 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers and, after the bye, helped lead his team on a six-game win streak.

"I think I've done it this year in terms of having some rest and then coming in here and playing," Purdy said. "So that's something that feels good to go back and remind myself about. Not only that, but I'm going to be practicing against a really good defense in our guys for the next couple weeks, too. It's not like I'm going to be on the couch the next few weeks doing nothing."

Still, knowing he will not play on Sunday has been challenging for Purdy.

"The competitor in me," Purdy said. "Obviously, I want to play and compete all the time, but that's the case and the situation that we are in."

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