Warner credits Purdy as ‘reason' 49ers went to NFC title game


Even after a devastating loss, 49ers linebacker Fred Warner made sure to give rookie quarterback Brock Purdy his flowers.

After San Francisco's season ended in a 31-7 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in Sunday's NFC Championship Game at Lincoln Financial Field, Warner praised the job Purdy did in his short time as the 49ers' starting quarterback.

"He ain't got nothing to be sad about," Warner told reporters postgame. "He's the reason we even got to this game."

The All-Pro added that when veteran Jimmy Garoppolo broke his foot in Week 13 against the Miami Dolphins, the team wondered what would happen after watching its second quarterback go down with a season-ending injury.

It was Purdy who stabilized the ship and helped the 49ers win 10 straight wins to close the 2022 NFL regular season, ultimately leading the team to a date with the Eagles for the NFC title. 

"He's the reason we're here right now and like I said, unfortunate what happened, him getting hurt and [backup quarterback] Josh [Johnson] getting hurt, we just couldn't do enough to find a way to win," Warner concluded. 

San Francisco's matchup with Philadelphia went awry very quickly, with Purdy suffering an elbow injury in the first quarter that severely limited what he could do. After he was replaced by Johnson, Purdy remained on the sideline, hoping that he would be able to throw effectively. 

When Johnson was ruled out of the game with a concussion, Purdy re-entered the game in the third quarter, though the 49ers ran the ball almost exclusively. Coach Kyle Shanahan shared the extent of Purdy's abilities after the injury.

“He couldn’t throw,” Shanahan told reporters postgame. “He would not have gone back in unless he had to.”

Purdy described the situation to reporters after the game, stating that he could not throw the ball more than five or 10 yards.

"My arm, felt like it stretched out," Purdy explained. "Just felt like a really a lot of shocks all over from my elbow down to my wrist, front and back. Just pain really all over."

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It remains to be seen how the 49ers will bounce back from this loss.

But one thing is certain: Purdy did all he could to help the team, and Warner appreciates the rookie's effort.

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