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Brock Purdy on Track to Start vs. Steelers in Week 1



Steelers 49ers Brock Purdy

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy is ahead of his schedule in rehabilitating his elbow injury and appears to be in line to start against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 1 of the 2023 NFL season.

Purdy injured his right elbow in the 2022 NFL Championship Game, completely tearing the ulnar collateral ligament in his throwing arm. That’s the injury that usually forces baseball pitchers to undergo Tommy John surgery, or a UCL reconstruction, but he was able to have a less-invasive surgery known as a UCL repair.

Reconstruction surgery would have ruled Purdy out for the season opener at Acrisure Stadium in Pittsburgh on Sept. 10. (Full Steelers 2023 schedule.) But the repair has given hope that the 2023 seventh-round draft pick will be able to continue his career without missing a game.

Following the 49ers’ spring practices, Purdy traveled to Jacksonville, Florida for individual workouts, and reports from those sessions have revealed no issues with Purdy’s surgically repaired elbow.

“It seems like there’s been no blips,” Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area said Thursday on KNBR. “Everything seems to be working toward September 10 at the Pittsburgh Steelers. …

“But everything I’ve heard is that the progress and the PT, all that is right on pace, that there’s been no setbacks. And it’s not necessarily all systems go. That’ll come a little bit later. But as I understand it, they’re very happy with where he is in his recovery from that surgery.”

Purdy had the surgery on March 10, with an expected rehab time of six months, so he will need to stay ahead of that pace in order to be ready to go for Week 1.

Purdy came out of nowhere to be a breakthrough star for the 49ers in 2022. After injuries to both Jimmy Garoppolo and Trey Lance, Purdy started five games, throwing for 1,374 yards, 13 touchdowns and four interceptions over the stretch run. He also led San Francisco to playoff wins in each of his first two starts, before his injury, and one to backup Josh Johnson, forced the 49ers to finish the NFC Championship Game against the Philadelphia Eagles without a quarterback.

If Purdy is not ready to place against the Steelers, Lance, who was the team’s first-round draft pick in 2021, and veteran backup Sam Darnold would be options to start the opening game.

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