49ers' Purdy injures elbow in NFC title game loss to Eagles
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy suffered a right elbow injury in Sunday's 31-7 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC title game.
Purdy sustained the ailment in the first quarter after taking a hit from Haason Reddick, who forced a fumble on the play. He was originally listed as questionable to return. The rookie signal-caller only attempted two passes before veteran Josh Johnson replaced him.
Johnson led San Francisco until early the third quarter but went down with a concussion, forcing the 49ers to put Purdy back at quarterback despite his clear limitations. The team also made running back Christian McCaffrey its emergency quarterback versus Philadelphia, switching his helmet out to make it possible for him to hear the team's play-calling.
Niners head coach Kyle Shanahan said he still doesn't know the severity of Purdy's injury. The team's initial belief is that Purdy injured his ulnar collateral ligament and would need six weeks to recover, sources told ESPN's Adam Schefter.
"We have to get an MRI," Shanahan said postgame, according to The Mercury News' Cam Inman. "He couldn't throw. He wouldn't have gone back in if we hadn't had to. It was that or we were going to have wildcat. We didn't get long enough drives to show that either.
"That opening drive we lost our last quarterback. We were inspired watching our defense. We felt, down two scores, we could run and generate enough on offense and maybe get a turnover. We didn't move the chains enough, and it was real tough to catch up."
Purdy finished the contest on 4-for-4 passing for 23 yards, while Johnson completed 7 of 13 passes for 74 yards, and each lost one fumble. McCaffrey had just one attempt.
The last pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, Purdy won his first seven starts in the league after taking over for an injured Jimmy Garoppolo midway through the season.
Injuries under center were a big issue for the 49ers in 2022. Trey Lance suffered a season-ending ankle ailment in Week 2, and Garoppolo hasn't played since fracturing his foot in December.
Johnson entered the NFL as a fifth-round pick in 2008 and has played for several teams throughout his career. The 36-year-old joined San Francisco following Garoppolo's injury.