Times Standard (Eureka)

Report: Purdy has torn UCL

- By Jerry McDonald

Brock Purdy reportedly tore the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow in Sunday's NFC Championsh­ip Game loss to the Eagles.

The news was initially reported by NFL Network's Tom Pelissero, but the team has not confirmed the results of Purdy's MRI, which was scheduled for Monday.

Purdy may be able to avoid a complete reconstruc­tion — also known as Tommy John surgery — and instead opt for a repair, which has a typical recovery time of about six months, according to Pelissero and other reports.

Purdy, 23, was injured on the opening series when hit while throwing by Philadelph­ia edge rusher Haason Reddick.

He'd thrown only two passes up to that point, and although he returned to the game after backup Josh Johnson was lost to a concussion, he threw only twice more the rest of the game. Purdy said afterward he was unable to throw anything farther than five or 10 yards and would have an MRI Monday.

“My arm felt stretched out, really a lot of shocks all over from my elbow down to my wrist, front and back,” Purdy said. “Just pain, really. All over.”

The injury ended a storybook season for a player taken as the final selection in the 2022 NFL Draft, earning the distinctio­n of “Mr. Irrelevant.”

Purdy got his first meaningful snaps on Dec. 4 in relief of Jimmy Garoppolo, who left with a broken foot against the Miami Dolphins.

Facing zero-blitz pressure throughout, Purdy completed 25 of 37 passes for 210 yards, two touchdowns and one intercepti­on in a 33-17 win by the 49ers.

That began a magical run of five consecutiv­e wins to close out the regular season, plus playoff victories over Seattle and Dallas before being injured against the Eagles. Purdy beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Tom Brady in his first start and guided the 49ers to a division-clinching 2113 road victory at Seattle despite playing with an oblique/rib injury.

Despite starting just five times, Purdy is a finalist for the NFL Rookie of the Year Award along with Seahawks running back Kenneth Walker III and Jets wide receiver Garrett Wilson. The winner will be announced on NFL Honors Night on Feb. 9.

Purdy completed 67.1 percent of his passes for 1,374 yards with 13 touchdowns and four intercepti­ons with a passer rating of 107.1 in the regular season. In the playoffs before the Eagles game, Purdy completed 62.7 percent of his passes (37 of 59) for 546 yards, three touchdowns and no intercepti­ons.

Philadelph­ia coach Nick Sirianni, who is friends with coaches at Iowa State where Purdy played in college, was compliment­ary about the rookie following the game.

“I got a lot of respect for Brock that he came back in and fought,” Sirianni said. “A ton of respect for him because, obviously, he was hurting bad. That kid's a winner and he obviously showed a great toughness to come back in when his team was in a bind.”

Purdy played his way onto the 53-man roster during training camp, beating out veteran Nate Sudfeld, who had received a $2 million contract guarantee. He was originally going to be the backup to Trey Lance until Jimmy Garoppolo returned at a reduced rate after spending training camp throwing on an adjacent field.

Even then, the 49ers kept Purdy as a No. 3 quarterbac­k for fear of losing him to another team if he was waived and placed on the practice squad. Purdy became the backup to Garoppolo when Lance fractured an ankle in Week 2 and was lost for the season.

 ?? KARL MONDON — BAY AREA NEWS GROUP ?? 49ers quarterbac­k Brock Purdy leaves the field after a 31-7loss to the Philadelph­ia Eagles in the NFC Championsh­ip on Sunday in Philadelph­ia.
KARL MONDON — BAY AREA NEWS GROUP 49ers quarterbac­k Brock Purdy leaves the field after a 31-7loss to the Philadelph­ia Eagles in the NFC Championsh­ip on Sunday in Philadelph­ia.

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