Brock Purdy

Purdy avoids PUP list, on track to be 49ers' starting QB

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SANTA CLARA — Quarterback Brock Purdy cleared a major hurdle Tuesday in his quest to be the 49ers’ Week 1 starter.

Less than 20 weeks after undergoing surgery to repair a torn ligament in his throwing elbow, Purdy passed his physical upon reporting to training camp, 49ers general manager John Lynch said.

Purdy was not placed on the physically-unable-to-perform list upon reporting to camp.

Although Purdy has been cleared to practice without restrictions, Lynch said, the 49ers will still manage his usage.

Coach Kyle Shanahan said Purdy will not throw more than three days in a row at the beginning of camp. Whenever Purdy practices, he will be running with the first-team offense, Shanahan said.

Shanahan said he has not seen Purdy throwing in person much but he has observed videos of Purdy's rehabilitation.

"He looks like Brock," Shanahan said.

Purdy’s progress is a signal he is on pace to take the field Sunday, Sept. 10, when the 49ers open the regular season against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The 49ers now begin training camp with Purdy, Trey Lance, Sam Darnold and Brandon Allen on the quarterback depth chart. The team’s first preseason game is scheduled for Aug. 13 against the Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium.

General manager John Lynch and Shanahan this offseason described Purdy, 23, as the “leader in the clubhouse” for the 49ers’ starting job based on his play after entering the NFL as the final overall pick of the 2022 NFL Draft.

Purdy won a spot on the 49ers’ 53-man roster to open last season as the No. 3 quarterback behind Lance and Jimmy Garoppolo. Lance sustained a season-ending injury in Week 2, forcing the 49ers to turn to Garoppolo and moving Purdy into the No. 1 role.

The 49ers finished the regular season with six victories after Purdy replaced injured Garoppolo in the first quarter of the team’s Week 13 game against the Miami Dolphins.

Purdy finished his rookie season with 1,374 yards and a 67.1 completion percentage with 13 touchdown passes and four interceptions. His passer rating was 107.3.

He did not slow down in the postseason, either. Purdy completed 41 of 63 pass attempts (65.1) for 569 yards, three touchdowns, no interceptions and a passer rating of 109.8. The 49ers beat Seattle and Dallas in the playoffs before losing to the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC Championship Game.

Purdy sustained a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his throwing elbow midway through the first quarter of that game when Eagles edge rusher Haason Reddick hit Purdy’s right forearm as he was throwing.

Purdy returned to the game in the third quarter when backup Josh Johnson sustained a concussion. Despite the major injury, Purdy attempted two passes, completing both of them, for 4 yards in the second half.

Purdy originally was scheduled to undergo surgery on Feb. 22, but Texas Rangers orthopedic surgeon Dr. Keith Meister decided to postpone the procedure to allow inflammation in his elbow to subside.

The surgery to insert an internal brace to reconnect the UCL was performed on March 10. Purdy began his throwing program with a regulation NFL football on May 29.

The estimated timeframe for Purdy’s recovery was, essentially, three months to return to throwing a football and a three-month ramp-up program to be cleared for 100-percent activity.

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