According to head coach Kyle Shanahan, reports about a quarterback battle in San Francisco are exaggerated. Shanahan stated that if the 49ers had made it to the Super Bowl last February and both Brock Purdy and Jimmy Garoppolo had been healthy, Purdy would have been the team’s starting quarterback. Furthermore, Shanahan revealed that Purdy will also be the team’s starting quarterback for the 2023 season, as long as he is medically cleared to play.
Shanahan emphasized that Purdy has been the team’s starter since last year ended. However, due to concerns about Purdy’s injury and his recovery, there were uncertainties surrounding his availability for this year. As a result, the team prepared for all possibilities and gave rookie Trey Lance the opportunity to play. Lance had initially started the season as the team’s starting quarterback but got injured. Now, with Purdy expected to be cleared to play by Week 1, neither Lance nor backup Sam Darnold may have a chance to fill in before then.
Lance started in the 49ers’ preseason game against the Raiders, but his performance was mixed according to some analysts. Despite putting up decent numbers, Lance appeared uncomfortable in the pocket throughout the game and took several sacks. Additionally, his touchdown pass was almost intercepted before landing in the hands of a 49ers’ receiver.
Colin Cowherd, a sports commentator, expressed doubts about Lance’s abilities and readiness to be the team’s starting quarterback. He believed that both Darnold and Purdy would be better options than Lance. Cowherd stated that Darnold is more talented and athletic, while Purdy is more accurate. In Cowherd’s opinion, Lance is an experiment, and the 49ers need to win now.
In the end, it remains to be seen who will start as the 49ers’ quarterback in the upcoming season. Purdy’s recovery progress and performance in training camp will play a crucial role in determining his starting status. Ultimately, the decision lies in the hands of Coach Shanahan and the coaching staff.