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Javon Hargrave: 49ers-Eagles would have been a different game with a healthy Brock Purdy

Mar 17, 2023 at 2:47 PM--


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Everything changed in the NFC Championship Game when quarterback Brock Purdy exited early with an injury. He eventually returned because his backup, Josh Johnson, exited with a concussion. Purdy could not throw, though. He suffered a tear of the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) in his right elbow, leaving the San Francisco 49ers to become one-dimensional, abandoning the pass and depending solely on the run game.

For fans, it was a difficult game to watch. Everyone anticipated a more evenly matched battle between the two best teams in the NFC. Instead, they got an Eagles powerhouse defense going against a limping 49ers offense.

"We kind of knew it was going to be different when all you can do is run the ball," former Eagles defensive tackle Javon Hargrave said Friday during a KNBR interview, "when both quarterbacks go out, and you know exactly what you're trying to do. Of course, it made it a lot easier for us."

The 49ers signed Hargrave to a four-year, $84 million deal, adding the free agent to a defensive line that includes Arik Armstead and NFL Defensive Player of the Year Nick Bosa.

Hargrave and the Eagles defense knew Purdy's injury gave them a significant advantage, making their path to the Super Bowl much easier. The rookie quarterback had all seven starts leading to the NFC Championship Game. Philadelphia knew a healthy Purdy would be a handful.

"Trust me, we've seen the film on Brock escaping," Hargrave shared. "We knew it was going to be a challenge trying to get to him, so it would have been, definitely, a different game if he had stayed up."

The 49ers—and maybe Purdy—will get another shot at the Eagles during the 2023 season. San Francisco will visit Lincoln Financial Field as part of its 17-game schedule.

You can listen to the entire conversation with Hargrave below.



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