SANTA CLARA — The 49ers never had time to panic after learning the severity of Jimmy Garoppolo’s foot injury in Week 13.
That’s because rookie Brock Purdy gave the team -- and fans -- no reason to panic.
Purdy began to win the respect of his veteran teammates with his work behind the scenes months and months ago.
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But he earned immediate real-life confidence with how he played once he was called upon Dec. 4 against the Miami Dolphins following Garoppolo’s broken foot.
“Whenever your quarterback goes down or a star player goes down, yeah, you’re going to think about the gravity of that,” 49ers Pro Bowl fullback Kyle Juszczyk said on the latest "49ers Talk" podcast.
“You’re going to recognize this is a big deal that Jimmy just went down.”
Purdy was playing so well by the time the team found out the serious nature of Garoppolo’s injury, the emotion felt in the locker room was more sadness for Garoppolo than what it meant for the hopes of the season.
San Francisco 49ers
“Because so quickly Brock stepped in there and played so well, you never got to that point of, ‘Oh, the season’s over,’” Juszczyk said. “I think he played so well in that game that it gave us a lot of hope, and we got that hope quickly.”
In his first game, Purdy completed 25 of 37 pass attempts for 210 yards with two touchdowns and one interception in a 33-17 victory over Miami.
Purdy was a seventh-round draft pick. Initially, his best shot at sticking with the team was viewed as being on the practice squad behind starter Trey Lance and veteran backup Nate Sudfeld.
But Purdy beat out Sudfeld, and he earned a spot as the third quarterback on the roster after Garoppolo agreed to a pay cut to keep him with the team.
“He worked really hard and he played really well,” Juszczyk said of Purdy. “And, honestly, that’s how you get everyone’s respect. It's how you go out there and play and how you prepare.”
Purdy showed it against the Dolphins. Then, he continued to play well in victories over Tampa Bay and the NFC West-clinching win at Seattle.
The 49ers take a seven-game win streak into Saturday’s game against the Washington Commanders, and Purdy has been a central figure in the past three victories.
“He continues to prove it game after game, and I feel like we’re right back to where we have full confidence that we can do everything that we’ve planned,” Juszczyk said.
While Purdy remained quiet after coming to the 49ers, he has not been shy about asserting himself since his elevation into the starting lineup.
Juszczyk confirmed that Purdy, who turns 23 next week, has even snapped at some of the veteran players in the huddle.
“It’s never anything demeaning,” Juszczyk said. “Any time the quarterback steps into the huddle, everyone is quiet so he can do his thing.
“There’ve been times when guys are just going back and forth about what just happened or what we’re about to do, and he’s, ‘Shut up, let’s go,’ and he calls the play.”