49ers HC Kyle Shanahan on Brock Purdy: ‘He’s definitely the most poised rookie I’ve ever had’
Brock Purdy overcame injury on Thursday to lead the San Francisco 49ers to a 21-13 win over the Seattle Seahawks and the NFC West title, fighting through the pain of an oblique/ribs injury to continue what has proven to be an unbelievable start to his NFL career.
Up until only a few hours before game time, it wasn’t even known if Purdy was going to be able to start.
Purdy had a questionable injury designation, and coach Kyle Shanahan said in his postgame news conference that he wasn’t sure if Purdy would be able to make it through the whole game even if he did initially take the field. But Purdy proved to be durable and sensational.
“He’s definitely the most poised rookie I’ve ever had. He’s been like that since he’s gotten here,” Shanahan said. “He was poised all week, even with him being unsure of whether he’d be able to go or not. … And under the circumstances, we didn’t have any other choices, we were going to see how long he could last, and we were ready to go with [backup] Josh [Johnson]. But he just got comfortable, he got better as the game went, and it was pretty unbelievable.”
In the end, Purdy was able to tough it out and make the start, and barely showed the pain affecting him as he led his offense to a full four quarters of play and the victory.
“Definitely another level, it was another level for me just watching someone do it,” Shanahan said. “For him to be able to just play, let alone play the way he did, to protect the ball, he struggled to move a little bit at times, but …
“The team had a lot of respect for him before that game, but a lot more now.”
Purdy finished the game 17-for-26 passing for 217 yards, two touchdowns and no turnovers. It was his third-straight game with two passing TDs, making Purdy the first rookie quarterback to throw for two-plus passing TDs in three straight games since Justin Herbert did it in 2020, and the only 49ers rookie to accomplish the feat, per NFL Research.
In addition, with Purdy’s final passer rating of 117.0, he joined Aaron Rodgers as the only quarterbacks since at least 1950 to have a passer rating of 115-plus in each of their first two starts, per NFL Research.
While some might be surprised by Purdy’s sudden emergence, tight end George Kittle said after seeing the way Purdy’s prepared all season, even before becoming the starter, he’s not shocked at the way he’s performed.
“What Brock has done since he’s come in is he was confident in OTAs … and he diced up the best defense in the NFL, he came in in the preseason games and was threading balls,” Kittle said on the Prime Video postgame show. “He has had confidence since he came into the building, and everyone on this team has sensed that. And he’s just been waiting for an opportunity, and unfortunately with all the injuries at quarterback he’s finally gotten his opportunity.”
While Purdy’s movement was limited by his injuries, he was nevertheless able to complete a crucial play late in the game using his legs. After the Seahawks made it an eight-point game with 3:35 left, the 49ers offense faced third-and-1. Purdy took the snap and rolled to the right, sliding right at the marker while holding out the ball for the first down. That conversion kept the drive moving and the clock ticking, and eventually the game ended without Seattle getting a chance to tie it up.
“(He’s) just a smart player,” defensive end Nick Bosa told Prime Video’s Kaylee Hartung. “It just shows how experienced he is for somebody who’s not very experienced. But I’m proud of him, I’m super happy for him, and I’m excited to keep going with him.”