King explains how 49ers should approach Purdy-Lance dilemma


The 49ers’ quarterback debacle in their wretched 31-7 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday only foreshadowed what’s to come this offseason.

From Brock Purdy to Josh Johnson to … Christian McCaffrey? San Francisco’s NFC Championship Game concerns about who was positioning themselves under center will rise as the 49ers have some big decisions to make.

NBC Sports’ Peter King has an idea of what the club should do when it announces who will be QB1 at the start of the 2023 NFL season.

“I think if I’m Kyle Shanahan, I tell Brock Purdy and Trey Lance they’re going to training camp as 1a (Purdy) and 1b (Lance),” King said. “And it’s not impossible for Lance to unseat Purdy, but life goes on, and Purdy’s eight wins down the stretch of this season can’t be discounted.”

Up until Sunday, Purdy was undefeated since taking over as the starter for an injured Jimmy Garoppolo in Week 13. Mr. Irrelevant made himself anything but, and he led his team to the conference championship despite all the adversity.

While Purdy's success as the 49ers' signal-caller was just short of a perfect storybook ending, it has now made San Francisco's decision on the position much more difficult.

Lance, who was the clear starter for the 49ers entering the 2022 season, sustained an ankle injury in Week 2 and his promised breakout campaign was cut short.

Purdy showed he's got game, but would it be a disservice to both the 49ers and Lance to not give the guy they traded four draft picks for to get a real chance? 

The 49ers won't be able to begin the lengthy process, though, until they get more clarity from the injury Purdy suffered Sunday. The 23-year-old sustained a right elbow injury and told reporters after the game that wasn't able to throw the football more than five or 10 yards. 

RELATED: Keyshawn: 49ers signing Brady would be 'dream scenario'

San Francisco believes he injured his ulnar collateral ligament, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Sunday, citing sources, and the hope is that it's not ruptured, requiring only a six-week recovery. But an MRI examination is scheduled for Monday to reveal the severity of the injury. When the results come back, the 49ers could have a better understanding of how they'll approach a difficult, busy offseason. 

And fans can expect it will be a conversation that will be ongoing for the next few months and probably will continue even after the season starts. 

Download and follow the 49ers Talk Podcast

Contact Us