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Breer: 49ers QB Brock Purdy throwing without pain, on track to be ready by Week 1

Jun 5, 2023 at 12:32 PM--

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San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy started throwing again last week, his first significant throwing session (with a football, at least) since the NFC Championship Game in January when he tore the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) in his right elbow. Purdy underwent surgery on March 10 to repair the damage and isn't expected to be cleared to hit the practice field for several months.

The 49ers liked what they saw from his limited work last week.

"He's just had one session thus far, but we're incredibly encouraged by that," general manager John Lynch said last week during an interview on SiriusXM NFL Radio. "And Brock's a worker. If you give him a task, he's going to do everything in his power."

So far, everything has been going as hoped in Purdy's recovery. It's been going so well, in fact, that there is growing optimism that the second-year quarterback is on schedule to be cleared before the start of the regular season, something that seemed uncertain not too long ago.

Even Purdy's often less-than-optimistic head coach, Kyle Shanahan, is hopeful to have his young quarterback return in time for Week 1, and probably in time to get some work in training camp.

"[W]e're hoping for Week 1, and I feel pretty optimistic about that," Shanahan recently said. "That's what we're hoping for—he'll be ready to play in Week 1, and usually, that doesn't mean that's the day he comes back. Usually, you got to come before that to make that goal, and that's kind of the goal we're hoping for, and don't have any reason to think differently."

In a feature for Sports Illustrated, Albert Breer recently offered an update on how Purdy has looked thus far, and the news is very encouraging.

"The 49ers' expected starting quarterback should, well, continue to be expected to start for the team," Breer wrote. "He's on a very controlled throwing program now, and this week's minicamp in Santa Clara should provide more answers. As it stands? Purdy is throwing without pain, and he's passed every test the Niners have thrown at him."

As expected, the 49ers canceled the final week of organized team activities (OTAs), initially scheduled for this week, and replaced them by moving up their mandatory minicamp, which will now kick off on Tuesday. Obviously, Purdy will not participate. However, his very limited throwing sessions to evaluate his progress should continue.

"The plan going forward is to gradually increase the velocity and distance on his throws," Breer continued. "But at this point, I'm told he's come through the rehab process and is now building strength back in his arm, on a track that'd have him ready to go for Week 1."

Trey Lance and Sam Darnold will get the bulk of the practice reps this week. That will likely carry over into training camp, which begins at the end of July and runs through August. It is believed that Purdy could be cleared to start practicing toward the end of training camp.

"In the meantime, with the offseason program winding down," Breer added, "the coaches will get a few more looks at both Sam Darnold and Trey Lance, running Kyle Shanahan's offense in what's shaping up as an all-in type of year for San Francisco's loaded roster—one that's been to three NFC title games and a Super Bowl—in pursuit of the franchise's sixth championship."

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