Training Camp 2023

Maiocco's 49ers camp observations: Purdy has sharpest practice

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SANTA CLARA — Quarterback Brock Purdy returned from a day off and had his sharpest practice of training camp.

Purdy delivered a well-thrown ball 20 yards down the field to Brandon Aiyuk on an in-breaking route Thursday early in practice. He delivered the ball with enough velocity to get it to Aiyuk before safety George Odum arrived.

Purdy, who took all 18 snaps with the first-team offense, is on pace to be the 49ers’ starting quarterback Week 1 against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

And coach Kyle Shanahan said he does not factor Purdy’s offseason elbow surgery into his thinking when watching him on the practice field.

“That’s completely off my mind. He’s healed; he’s healthy,” Shanahan said. “Guys got to get into throwing shape and they got to play and get used to that, and that takes time. But I’m not thinking about his injury.”

Purdy is scheduled to practice again on Friday before taking a day off on Saturday, Shanahan said. The 49ers are not scheduled to practice on Sunday.

Purdy completed seven of his 11 pass attempts during an abbreviated practice on Thursday. He has participated in five of the team's seven practices of training camp.

There were no close calls for Purdy in practice, unlike earlier this week when 49ers defensive end Clelin Ferrell slapped the ball out of his hand while he was in the pocket.

The play was similar to the sequence in the NFC Championship Game, when Purdy sustained the torn ulnar collateral ligament.

Shanahan said he is constantly stressing to the defensive players to remain clear of the quarterback.

“It is a lot more sensitive when you see it happen to a guy who ended his season that way last year, but, yeah, that’s all we talk about,” Shanahan said.

When asked if he held his breath to see if Purdy was all right, Shanahan said, “I had to hold my breath so I didn’t lose my mind.”

QB update

Sam Darnold and Trey Lance shared all of the other practice snaps, while fourth-stringer Brandon Allen did not take any snaps during 11-on-11 drills.

Darnold had 14 practice snaps and completed six of eight pass attempts, while Lance had 13 reps and was 5-for-8.

Darnold had a nice 22-yard throw to second-year receiver Danny Gray, who is putting together a consistent camp.

Lance had the best throw of the day, a well-timed deep out to wide receiver Tay Martin. He also threw the only interception of the day when he tried to fit in a ball over the middle. Rookie linebacker Dee Winters made the interception. That was a play on which Lance should have checked it down, Shanahan said.

Injury report

Left guard Aaron Banks was placed in the concussion protocol, 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said.

Running back Elijah Mitchell is expected to miss more than a week with an adductor strain.

Backup tackle Jaylon Moore sustained a bone bruise to his knee in practice Wednesday and did not practice.

“He’s day-to-day, a little bit of time, but it’s good news based he was feeling that day,” Shanahan said of Moore.

Defensive tackle Kalia Davis (hamstring) sat out another day of practice today.

Quick slants

— Veteran kicker Zane Gonzalez was 3-for-3 with field goals of 33, 38 and 43 yards. Rookie kicker Jake Moody did not attempt any kicks.

— Running back Christian McCaffrey, tight end George Kittle, tackle Trent Williams and linebacker Dre Greenlaw were among the veteran players who were given a day to rest.

— Edge rusher Nick Bosa remains a contract holdout, though the 49ers do not appear too concerned with his absence. The holdout reached its 10th day.

— Defensive end Drake Jackson broke through for a sack on a play that Purdy went ahead and delivered a deep pass for Deebo Samuel. On the back end of the play, cornerback Samuel Womack broke it up.

— Defensive lineman Kerry Hyder applied a quarterback pressure that led to a Lance throwaway.

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