Kyle Shanahan: Brock Purdy is ‘right on pace’ in recovery from elbow surgery

Jun 7, 2023, 8:01 AM

John Lynch Brock Purdy #13 of the San Francisco 49ers looks on after defeating the Seattle Seahawks...

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - DECEMBER 15: Brock Purdy #13 of the San Francisco 49ers looks on after defeating the Seattle Seahawks at Lumen Field on December 15, 2022 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

At the start of mandatory minicamp Tuesday, the San Francisco 49ers have three quarterbacks healthy & practicing. While the fourth one, Brock Purdy, is still on the mend, all signs point to to his recovery going smoothly thus far.

49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan shed a little light on the standout gunslinger’s offseason schedule, beginning a throwing program last week. Purdy has been sidelined since suffering a torn UCL in his right elbow during the NFC Championship game last season. Undergoing a repair of the ligament in March, the Arizona native is now three months post-operation, with every checkpoint in his recovery on track at the moment.

Shanahan explained that he doesn’t spend as much time with the QB as he’d like, but that no setbacks have occurred this offseason.

“He’s right on pace. I think he throws three times a week. I do not sit and watch those,” Shanahan said to the media Tuesday. “It’s part of his process of getting back and he’s continuing right on the track he’s always been on. No setbacks and it’s been very good so far.”

Brock Purdy began his throwing regiment at the end of last month, presumably a week ahead of schedule. The results were extremely encouraging, with general manager John Lynch stating that the QB is still considered the “leader in the clubhouse”.

While the 49ers hope that he’ll be fully cleared to play by Week 1 of the regular season, they won’t rush him back whatsoever.

“We’re taking it very slowly,” Shanahan explained. “It’s not like you just jump out and push stuff. You’re only supposed to throw on this date at this percentage, these many yards, and then you do a certain amount a couple days later and if you stay on track it should heal the right way. And right now, everything’s right on track and I don’t ask three weeks ahead. You just keep trying to stay on that trajectory.

“I know we want updates. I totally get it, but there are none, so I could make something up, but there are none. It’s just the next day of working out and rehabbing and I don’t get too involved in that. I see him in the meetings, talk to him about football, what will happen when he is healthy and we’re just waiting for him to get healthy.”

While the Red & Gold wait for Purdy, they have their hands full with a slew of QBs on the practice field.

San Francisco signed veteran Sam Darnold to compete with Trey Lance for the QB1 role during the offseason. The team also signed journeyman Brandon Allen to further bolster their depth at the position. With three signal-callers on the field right now, Shanahan & 49ers’ brass have maintained a “QB competition” mentality this offseason. While Brock Purdy will remain the frontrunner for now, the idea of another QB emerging over the summer is a possibility that excites San Francisco.

“It’s OTAs so every position, like I think I’ve said to you guys before, I don’t try to come in and know who’s ahead or not. All this stuff gives these guys a chance to have a chance to compete in training camp,” Shanahan stated. “When you don’t practice football an entire offseason, you don’t do any practice of football since your last game. It’s very hard to come to training camp and be ready to beat someone out and so that’s what you try to provide all this stuff, just to give guys a chance to learn the offense, get their timing, get everything. So now when they go to training camp, they’re ready to compete and that’s truly where I see the competition starting.”

After going through four QBs in the 2022 season, the 49ers haven’t ruled out keeping a few more options on the 53-man roster next season. And after such strong early returns, the idea of four gunslingers on the main roster is firmly in the realm of possibilities for the Red & Gold.

“That’s what it looks like,” Shanahan exclaimed.


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