The San Francisco 49ers dealt with quarterback injuries all season. It continued on Sunday and ultimately led to the end of their season.
Rookie QB Brock Purdy suffered a right elbow injury on the Niners' first offensive drive of their 31-7 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC Championship Game. Purdy returned in the second half when his backup Josh Johnson was lost to a concussion, but Purdy's elbow severely limited his ability to throw and the 49ers' play-calling.
NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Sunday night that Purdy sustained a UCL sprain pending an MRI, per sources.
Purdy suffered his injury on a sack-fumble when Eagles edge rusher Haason Reddick hit him. He returned in the third quarter and was unable to sustain any drives to help San Francisco get back into contention.
"(Purdy) didn't lobby much (to play) because he went and kept throwing and realized he couldn't. So there was no real discussion after that," coach Kyle Shanahan said in his postgame news conference. "He couldn't throw, and then when he came in we had to decide what he could throw, and there weren't too many options."
Johnson replaced Purdy in the first half for the 49ers. On San Francisco's first drive to start the second half, Johnson was hit by Ndamukong Suh and was later ruled out with a concussion. Purdy entered the next play and delivered the ball to Christian McCaffrey.
Johnson was 7-of-13 passing for 74 yards in the game. Purdy finished the game 4-of-4 passing for 23 yards as the 49ers relied on the run throughout the second half.
"We were really excited for today, and we really wanted an opportunity to play that team," Shanahan said. "And they played great and did good things, but we wish we had a little better opportunity than we had today."
Purdy, the final pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, took over after Jimmy Garoppolo suffered a broken foot in Week 13. The rookie went 7-0 in his previous starts, including two postseason victories to lift the Niners to the NFC Championship Game.
San Francisco will now head into the offseason with questions at QB with Trey Lance, the Niners' original starter lost to a fractured ankle in Week 2, expected to be fully healthy for the 2023 season.