When 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo went down with a foot injury during Sunday’s game against the Miami Dolphins, backup Brock Purdy came onto the field at Levi’s Stadium and immediately made an impact.
He also made NFL history with the first touchdown pass of his young career.
San Francisco closed out the 2022 NFL Draft by selecting Purdy at No. 262 back in April, and Purdy earned the famous moniker “Mr. Irrelevant” as the draft’s final selection.
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Purdy quickly became very relevant on Sunday, stepping in under center in place of Garoppolo and leading a nine-play, 54-yard scoring drive that ended with a 3-yard touchdown pass to fullback Kyle Juszczyk.
With the play, Purdy became the first Mr. Irrelevant to throw a touchdown pass in a regular-season NFL game -- and gave the 49ers a 10-7 lead.
Purdy threw one touchdown pass during preseason against the Green Bay Packers, and Sunday marked the fourth game he has appeared in during the 2022 NFL regular season.
The Iowa State product threw for 66 yards on 4-of-9 passing against the Kansas City Chiefs near the end of the 49ers’ Week 7 loss, and in Week 11 against the Arizona Cardinals, he made a brief appearance and rushed for three yards on three attempts.
San Francisco 49ers
He also rushed for a 1-yard loss on one attempt against the Carolina Panthers.
Purdy became the 49ers’ backup signal-caller when second-year quarterback Trey Lance suffered a season-ending lower leg injury during Week 2 against the Seattle Seahawks. During that game, Garoppolo came in and led San Francisco to a win.
With the stakes extremely high on Sunday, Purdy appears on track to do the same in an incredibly similar situation.
He closed out the first half by giving the 49ers a 17-10 lead over Miami with another touchdown, this time a 3-yard pass to running back Christian McCaffrey.
With Garoppolo ruled out for the rest of the game, it’s unclear just how long Purdy will be manning the offense moving forward.
But he appears more than ready for the job.
Welcome to relevancy, Mr. Irrelevant.