Reports: San Francisco 49ers QB Brock Purdy suffers complete UCL tear, likely to require surgery
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy's right, throwing elbow will reportedly require surgery.
According to multiple reports, Purdy suffered a complete tear to the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) and is expected to be out a minimum of six months. According to the reports, Purdy is getting second opinions with the hope that he can avoid a major reconstructive surgery, also known as Tommy John surgery, to be ready in time for training camp.
Purdy, 23, suffered the injury midway through the first quarter of San Francisco's 31-7 loss against the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC Championship Game. On the 49ers' first drive of the game, with the team already trailing 7-0, Purdy dropped back on a second-down pass attempt. Philadelphia Eagles edge rusher Haason Reddick drilled Purdy before he could release the ball, striking the quarterback at his elbow as Purdy was swinging back in his motion. The play was originally ruled an incomplete pass but was overturned to a fumble following a review.
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Purdy re-entered the game in the third quarter after Josh Johnson, the fourth quarterback the 49ers had to turn to this season, suffered a concussion when he was brought down and had his head bounce on the turf. Upon Purdy's return, it became clear that he was not able to throw the ball down the field; in the 15 offensive snaps San Francisco had after Purdy returned, the Niners ran the ball 12 times and threw just three times. Running back Christian McCaffrey attempted one of those passes. The two passes Purdy attempted did not travel more than five yards beyond the line of scrimmage.
Purdy played remarkably well this season after he was thrust into the lineup after injuries to starter Trey Lance and backup Jimmy Garoppolo. In 12 games this season, including the playoffs, Purdy completed 66.5% of his passes for 1,943 yards, with 16 touchdowns against only four interceptions.
He started eight games after he was inserted midway through a Week 13 game against the Dolphins, when Garoppolo sustained a broken leg. The 49ers won all but one of Purdy's starts Sunday's loss against the Eagles.
Tommy John surgery is commonly used for baseball pitchers who suffer torn UCL injuries. Should Purdy require the Tommy John reconstruction, the expectation is that he will miss far more time.
Purdy was the last selection in the 2022 NFL draft, with the 262nd pick. He has three years left with the 49ers on his rookie contract and was in position to potentially compete with Lance as the team's starter.
Contributing: Chris Bumbaca