Iowa State Quarterback Makes “Purdy” Good NFL History
Months ago, I wrote about Iowa State's Brock Purdy. After the San Francisco 49ers lost their starting quarterback Trey Lance to an injury, I had a gut feeling Purdy could either make an appearance or start a game for the Niners. Turns out, that day came Sunday, December 3rd, against the Miami Dolphins.
The former Cyclone tossed a couple touchdowns and looked efficient as he played almost the entire game on Sunday. That wasn't the plan. The rookie relieved veteran quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, who left the game on the first drive due to a foot injury.
Brock Purdy was the last pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. That person gets the moniker of "Mr. Irrelevant." In the 102-year history of the NFL, a quarterback known as "Mr. Irrelevant" has never thrown a passing touchdown in a game. Until yesterday. Purdy tossed two of them, and helped the 49ers beat the Dolphins 33-17.
Purdy's final stat-line: he completed 25 of 37 passes for 210 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. He previously relieved Garoppolo in garbage time of a game against the Kansas City Chiefs back in October. Purdy threw one interception as the Niners lost 44-23.
Mr. Irrelevant's effort didn't come without a couple hiccups. His interception was an ugly one, but a miscommunication resulted in Purdy handing the ball off to running back Jordan Mason on the opposite side of where Mason was looking to run. Things happen. It was a rookie mistake. Ultimately, a couple forgivable gaffs from Purdy didn't stunt the 49ers' route to a strong W.
As effective as Purdy was, Garoppolo's injury undoubtedly concerns 49ers fans. It was announced shortly after the game that Garoppolo broke his foot, rendering him done for the season. San Francisco has been on a tear lately. In my opinion, they are the most complete team in the NFL, top to bottom. They might not have any weaknesses. One might say the quarterback position (even with Garoppolo) is their Achilles heal.
The comforting factor here is the veteran presence of head coach Kyle Shanahan, who has had to work with several different quarterbacks over his five-year tenure with the 49ers due to Garoppolo's frequent injuries. Purdy is just the latest case. Shanahan's proclivity with signal callers should provide some assistance for his development.
The 49ers host the Tom Brady-led Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday, December 11th. They currently lead their division with an 8-4 record. Time will tell if we see Purdy under center for the 49ers again.