Injured Purdy returns to NFC title game after Johnson hurt


Brock Purdy returned to NFC Championship Game in the third quarter despite sustaining a right elbow injury in the first quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field.

Purdy was pressed back into action after backup quarterback Josh Johnson took a big hit and was knocked out of the game. The 49ers announced the veteran signal-caller was being evaluated for a concussion and later ruled him out.

Purdy's injury occurred when he was hit by Eagles defensive lineman Haason Reddick on a play that resulted in a 49ers fumble and Philadelphia recovery. Johnson took over for Purdy on the 49ers' second drive of the game.

While Johnson was on the field for the 49ers' remaining first-half drives, Purdy was on the sideline attempting to throw a football.

The 49ers' first two offensive drives with Johnson under center ended in punts, but the Eagles weren't able to add to their early 7-0 lead. San Francisco managed to tie the game on Johnson's third series in large part to running back Christian McCaffrey, who had 44 total yards on the drive, capped off by a 23-yard touchdown run.

Purdy's rise from Mr. Irrelevant to 49ers starting quarterback has been one of the best stories of the 2022 NFL season, but there's a chance there might not be a happy ending depending on the severity of his elbow injury.

Johnson was the fourth quarterback the 49ers used this season.

If the 49ers are able to beat the Eagles and advance to Super Bowl LVII, it will be interesting to see if Purdy will be healthy enough to play. NFL Media's Ian Rapoport reported Sunday morning, citing sources, that if San Francisco wins in Philadelphia on Sunday, Jimmy Garoppolo could be active Feb. 12 in Glendale, Ariz.

Garoppolo hasn't played since sustaining a foot injury in the 49ers' win over the Miami Dolphins in Week 13.

RELATED: Eagles' Smith appears to drop imperative one-handed grab

First, the 49ers have to beat the Eagles. Then they can worry about who will play quarterback in two weeks.

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