Shanahan: Brock Purdy won’t play Week 18 vs. Rams; Sam Darnold to start

Jan 3, 2024, 12:50 PM | Updated: 12:52 pm

Brock Purdy #13 of the San Francisco 49ers calls a play during the third quarter of the game agains...

Loren Elliott/Getty Images

It’s official: Brock Purdy won’t be playing on the final week of the 2023 regular season.

The San Francisco 49ers quarterback will not featured in Week 18, per coach Kyle Shanahan Wednesday. With the No.1 seed in the NFC already clinched, Week 18 against the Los Angeles Rams has no meaning for the 49ers. In turn, backups will play a majority of the game, including QB Sam Darnold starting for the first time all season.

“Brock’s the only guy for sure I don’t plan on playing,” Kyle Shanahan told the media Wednesday.

The decision comes after deliberation with the coaching staff and players, not wanting to risk injury heading into the postseason. And while San Francisco will play some starters, all injured personnel, (and Brock Purdy), won’t feature next Sunday.

“We have at least six guys injured right now. So, I only know for sure we can rest one [healthy player] and we went with our starting quarterback,” Shanahan added.

Purdy, 24, finishes the 2023 regular season with a record of 12-4 as the starter. He now holds the franchise record for most passing yards in a season (2,480), with 31 total touchdowns and 11 interceptions. The Iowa State alum also finished as the top vote-getter for the Pro Bowl by fans.

With Purdy on the bench, Sam Darnold will start in his place Week 18.

Darnold, 26, is a former No. 3 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. He has 55 career starts, with a 21-34 record. The USC alum will start his first game of the season, last doing so with the Carolina Panthers in the 2022 season.

The Rams have also made the decision to rest starting QB Matthew Stafford Sunday, set to play Carson Wentz.

Shanahan also revealed that several players will miss practice Wednesday do to injury. Those include offensive lineman Jon Feliciano, safety Tashaun Gipson and running back Elijah Mitchell. Both Feliciano and Gipson are dealing with injuries at the moment, and are seen as unlikely to feature in Week 18.

Meanwhile, Mitchell is currently sick, but could play if his condition improves by the weekend.

Also set to miss Week 18 is RB Christian McCaffrey, ruled out with a calf strain. Defensive tackle Arik Armstead (foot, knee) joins him on the sidelines.

Additionally, the 49ers will be getting a few players back in the fold, with both OL Jaylon Moore and WR Jauan Jennings practicing in limited fashion Wednesday. They have been in the concussion protocol for an extended period of time.

Aside from the already stated, most 49ers starters are expected to play against the Rams.

Upcoming San Francisco 49ers Schedule

  • Sunday, Jan. 7th vs. Los Angeles Rams – 1:25 PM PST
  • January 13-14 – NFL Playoffs (Wild Card Round) – BYE
  • January 20-21 – NFC Divisional Round

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