Add newly-crowned NFL Defensive Player of the Year Nick Bosa to the list of San Francisco 49ers players who think Brock Purdy has earned the right to start over Trey Lance.
“Oh my God, I mean, for [Purdy] to come in as a rookie, the last pick in the draft and lead a team like us — just the confidence, the moxie, I guess you call it,” Bosa told NBC Sports Bay Area’s Jennifer Lee Chan (h/t Angelina Martin). “He’s got it, and I’m glad he’s on our team.”
Bosa responded that “it’s hard to say otherwise” when asked if he believes San Francisco’s starting job should be Purdy’s to lose later this year. However, Bosa also offered praise for Lance.
“I think Trey is an amazing guy to push (Purdy),” Bosa continued. “I’m excited to see where [Lance’s] career goes, and if he’s the backup for us, then we have a really good backup.”
49ers tight end George Kittle raised eyebrows earlier this week when he declared that the team’s starting gig is “Brock’s job to lose.” While it’s nice Bosa and Kittle have gone to bat for a teammate, there’s no guarantee Purdy will take a meaningful snap before the summer of 2024.
Purdy suffered a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow during the NFC Championship Game on Jan. 29 and won’t have surgery to repair the issue until Feb. 22. While it’s hoped the 23-year-old will face a six-month recovery following the procedure, he admitted earlier this week that Dr. Keith Meister could determine during surgery the signal-caller requires reconstruction. A Tommy John reconstruction surgery could cost Purdy the entire 2023 season.
Lance underwent surgery to repair his season-ending ankle injury this past September and is set to be atop San Francisco’s depth chart at quarterback once veteran Jimmy Garoppolo is allowed to hit free agency next month. It’s believed 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan would prefer to have Lance and Purdy compete this summer, but it seems unlikely that Purdy will be cleared to practice before the closing stages of the preseason portion of the calendar at the earliest.
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