Brock Purdy

49ers QB Purdy shares how he found joy during grueling rehab

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Brock Purdy's nearly perfect rookie season was dealt a devastating blow when he suffered a torn UCL in his right throwing elbow during the 49ers' NFC Championship loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.

The third-string-quarterback-turned-QB1 experienced the highest of highs with a flawless 8-0 record, but in a flash, the Cinderella season came crashing down in the city of Brotherly Love. From the highest peak of the mountain top to tumbling down to rock bottom, Purdy experienced every emotion during his recovery process. But he made sure to find joy along the way.

"Yeah, it's part of the game," Purdy said on a recent episode of KNBR's "Murph & Mac" podcast. "Things like that happen. It's not always going to be perfect and obviously, we had our sights set on the Super Bowl, and then boom, one play. It happens. For myself, I really do believe and I have faith in God that everything happens for a reason and he works in all things.

"So for me, it's like, 'How can I find joy with this?' Talking to people, having more time with my family in the offseason, so I took a lot of little things away like that but also remembered that it's going to work out how it needs to."

Going through any kind of injury can take both a physical and mental toll on a player.

While Purdy tried to keep things in perspective mentally, he made sure to applaud his physical improvements, both big and small.

"I'm going to do everything I can right now, today, to get my arm better and have some joy of what the future holds," he continued. "Not just, 'Hey man, this thing happened, I'm going to stay in the past and dwell on it.' For me, it happened and you got to move on. So I'm honestly excited. The rehab process, it helps you, it makes you grow. There were some dog days where I'm like, 'I can't move my arm right now, I got to extend it.' I was thankful for the little victories. Being able to touch my shoulder and all those kinds of things. It's a grind man.

"You got to look back on it and sort of be thankful for when you get through it, and can say, 'Man, I made it through that.' And it makes you tougher. It makes you stronger, mentally, physically, spiritually, everything."

The second-year QB received medical clearance to practice last week, much sooner than many originally had anticipated. Purdy said he followed a strict recovery plan and credited the doctors and medical staff who helped him along the way.

And as soon as he received the green light to get back on the gridiron with his teammates, the 49ers' starter for the upcoming 2023 NFL season no longer was in question. Coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch made it clear Purdy would be the starter any time he is on the practice field this summer, with Trey Lance, Sam Darnold and Brandon Allen competing behind him.

Now, Purdy will get the opportunity to finish what he started last season, and that joy he was able to find during the darkest of days surely will be worth it.

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