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Brock Purdy the 'leader in the clubhouse' to be 49ers starting QB in 2023

Yardbarker 2023-03-27 Zac Wassink, Yardbarker
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy. © Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy.

It sounds like 2022 rookie sensation Brock Purdy would be the starting quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers today if he was healthy. 

As shared by Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk, San Francisco general manager John Lynch told reporters on Monday that Purdy is "probably the leader in the clubhouse" as it pertains to the club's starting quarterback job ahead of 2021 first-round draft pick Trey Lance and free-agency acquisition Sam Darnold. Lynch also said that the current plan is for those three to compete for the gig this summer. 

Both Purdy and Lance are coming off worrisome physical setbacks. Lance suffered a season-ending ankle injury in Week 2 of the 2022 season, while Purdy went down with a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow during the NFC Championship Game loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. The 23-year-old was not able to undergo surgery to correct that issue until March 10. 

"Our hope is he’s ready to go for training camp," Lynch said about Purdy.

Lynch added that the 49ers are "really excited about where Trey is at with his progress from his injury." 

Purdy began his debut pro campaign third on the depth chart beneath Lance and Jimmy Garoppolo but was called into action after Garoppolo suffered a broken foot in Week 13. With Purdy starting under center, the 49ers won their final five regular-season games and a pair of playoff contests until his injury. 

In total, Purdy completed 67.1% of his 170 regular-season passes for 1,374 yards with 13 touchdowns and only four interceptions. To compare, Lance has completed 54.9% of his 102 career passes for 797 yards with five scores and three picks. 

It's been expected that Purdy would be sidelined six months following surgery, but Lynch's comments suggest the signal-caller is already ahead of that schedule. Assuming Purdy can be QB1 for Week 1 in September, Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan may have an interesting decision to make regarding Lance's future, especially if a quarterback-needy team approaches the 49ers about the 22-year-old's availability. 

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