After much delay and indecision, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy had elbow surgery on Friday, March 10, 2023.
The surgery was initially scheduled for late February but was delayed by his doctor due to lingering inflammation.
Prior to surgery, it was unclear exactly how much damage and repair would be necessary.
There was a possibility of a three-month recovery
Then, there was the less appealing Tommy John surgery which would sideline Purdy for a year.
Early reports indicate that the lesser timeline is what Purdy and the 49ers are facing.
From NFL Now: It was the best-case scenario for #49ers QB Brock Purdy, who underwent elbow surgery today. pic.twitter.com/rsCreU0w4F
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 10, 2023
What It Means
The 49ers openly admitted that Jimmy Garoppolo was going to be out of the picture in 2023.
That left Trey Lance who was recovering from a season-ending injury and Brock Purdy.
Lance’s timeline is trending well, and he is expected to be at spring OTAs.
If Purdy’s recovery goes as expected, he and Lance could compete for the QB1 job in training camp in July.
That will be a fascinating competition to watch, and it is hard to say who the players in the locker room will get behind because Purdy was outstanding in relief of the injured Garoppolo.
His injury during the NFC Championship game against the Philadelphia Eagles was an unfortunate end to a brilliant season where he seemed unfazed by the pressure or the spotlight cast upon him.
The 49ers Are Still Short A Quarterback
It seems like the 49ers never have enough quarterbacks, and that storyline is expected to continue in 2023.
There were reports that they may be interested in free agent Baker Mayfield who finished the 2022 season with the Los Angeles Rams.
There is an embarrassment of riches of free agent quarterbacks.
Besides Mayfield, there is Sam Darnold, Case Keenum, Jacoby Brissett, and Marcus Mariota, to name just a few.
What About Lamar Jackson?
To be clear, any team needing a quarterback should conduct due diligence on Lamar Jackson.
A Kyle Shanahan-Lamar Jackson partnership would be fascinating, but the 49ers have salary cap issues and Jackson has injury issues.
In the meantime, the team could add to its quarterback roster beginning next week with free agency.
Teams can begin talking to free agents on Monday, March 13, and the free agent signings can officially commence at the start of the NFL 2023 year on March 15 at 4:00 PM ET.
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