Why Mason believes 49ers in good hands with fellow rookie Purdy


SANTA CLARA — For a few days during the offseason program, quarterback Brock Purdy stayed at fellow 49ers rookie running back Jordan Mason’s place.

They would spend time going over coach Kyle Shanahan’s expansive offense as they attempted to win spots on the team’s regular-season roster.

Now, with five games remaining, both Purdy and Mason figure prominently into the team’s hopes for the remainder of the 2022 NFL season.

Mason saw Purdy’s detailed approach to learning the system. And that is part of the reason Mason believes Purdy has what it takes to keep the 49ers rolling toward the playoffs.

“He’s a QB,” Mason said of Purdy. “They stay around when everybody is gone. Brock definitely does that.”

For most of the season, Purdy ran the 49ers’ scout team and Mason was the top back in practices against the 49ers’ No. 1 defense.

“I got on his nerves on scout team, ‘Hey, man, get the ball in the playmaker’s hands; throw me the ball,’” said Mason, who also answers to "J.P."

“I’d be joking around with him. But scout team is where you get made, especially going against the kind of defense we have.”

Mason was first to be elevated into a more significant role after the team traded running back Jeff Wilson Jr. to the Miami Dolphins and Elijah Mitchell sustained a knee injury that could keep him out of action for two months.

Mason, whom the 49ers signed as an undrafted rookie from Georgia Tech, has 18 carries for 97 yards (5.4 average) on the season. All but one of his carries has come within the past three games.

Mason originally earned his spot on the depth chart over third-round pick Ty Davis-Price because of his play on special teams. He has held onto his role behind Christian McCaffrey with his production on offense.

“I got here for running the ball, but for me to stay on the team, I had to produce on all special teams, running up and down on kickoff, kickoff return,” he said. “To be honest, I’m having fun on kickoff.

“It warms me up, so when I get in at running back, I’ve already been running up and down the field. I’m actually kind of loose to run the ball.”

Mason helped the 49ers clinch their Week 12 victory over the New Orleans Saints. The 49ers ran out the final 6 minutes, 18 seconds of the game. Mason picked up two first downs with four consecutive successful runs.

“I feel like I didn’t really do anything,” he said. “I was just running to the open holes they had out there. At the end of the day, I was just running to what I saw.”

RELATED: How 49ers discovered exciting, undrafted back Mason

Mason continues to study and learn the fine points of the 49ers’ offense with his expanded role.

“You have to be on top of everything,” Mason said. “If you’re off one landmark, that could mess up the whole whole play. That’s one thing I’ve learned, just to stay on the playbook.”

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