NFL

Shanahan believes 49ers still have a chance with rookie Purdy at quarterback

By Sports Desk December 05, 2022

Kyle Shanahan believes the San Francisco 49ers will still "have a chance" with quarterback Brock Purdy after he was thrust into the starting role following a season-ending injury to Jimmy Garoppolo.

Garoppolo suffered a broken foot on the 49ers' first drive of their thrilling 33-17 win over the Miami Dolphins on Sunday, which maintained San Francisco's one-game lead atop the NFC West at 8-4.

Purdy was the final pick in the draft this year, earning him the tag 'Mr Irrelevant', but he is now the focus of San Francisco's season after an encouraging performance in relief of Garoppolo.

The former Iowa State quarterback completed 25 of his 37 passes for 210 yards, two touchdowns and an interception, the Niners outscoring the Dolphins 30-10 after Garoppolo left the game as San Francisco's top-ranked defense rattled Tua Tagovailoa and the NFL's most explosive offense.

Now the 49ers, a team who had Super Bowl aspirations with Garoppolo under center after he took over from injured 2021 third overall pick Trey Lance, must try to achieve their goals with Purdy under center.

While most may believe their hopes are now over, Shanahan is not giving up.

"What impressed me about Brock in [training] camp," Shanahan said, "is he was always willing to let it rip.

"He's decisive. He started for years [at Iowa State] at a high level. You gotta have some balls to play quarterback in this league, and he does. We think we'll have a chance with him."

Purdy will this week prepare for his first start, which will come against the man regarded as the greatest of all time, Tom Brady, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

"Pretty cool," Purdy told King when asked about going against Brady. "The GOAT. He's been playing football longer than I've been alive."

But Purdy knows he will not have to do it alone, as he enters arguably the best offensive ecosystem in the NFL with Shanahan calling the plays for an attack stacked with weapons, and he also has the assistance of a defense that forced three turnovers from Tagovailoa as the 49ers beat a team led by former offensive coordinator Mike McDaniel.

"I know the question is, can I step in and continue this ride of what our team has done?" added Purdy.

"It's not just a one-man show or anything like that. What Jimmy did for this team was amazing in terms of getting it rolling and getting us on a streak to win.

"The challenge for me is like, man, can I step up in that position and continue to feed those guys? Get them the ball. Make the right checks in the run game. Allow the defense to play great and play with them. That's the challenge for me and that's how I look at it and I'm excited for it."

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