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49ers vs. Eagles: Brock Purdy prepares for return to Philadelphia

Nov 30, 2023 at 1:02 PM--

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Showers are in the forecast for Sunday's matchup between the San Francisco 49ers and Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. However, this won't alter Kyle Shanahan's approach to preparing his team for the potential wet conditions. In fact, the 49ers head coach has expressed significant confidence in Brock Purdy's ability to play quarterback in less-than-ideal weather.

"A wet ball makes it harder on everybody," Shanahan told reporters on Wednesday. "I've had some guys who really struggle in the rain. I've been through some situations with Brock, not just the game, but practice. But I think he's as good as any quarterback I've had in the rain. He's dealt with it a lot at Iowa State."

Speaking to reporters before Thursday's practice, Purdy said he might consider playing with a glove, but only if the downpour is significant.

"In Cleveland, [the rain] sort of came out of nowhere, in a sense," shared Purdy. "Like mid-drive, it started raining, so it was a little tough to deal with that one drive. But to maybe have a plan of if I need a glove, if I don't, if it's downpouring, if it's a light rain, that'll just probably be one of those decisions once we get there and you see the weather and how it is right before the game starts. But those are things that I'll definitely be thinking about."

Discussing the benefits of wearing a glove in the rain, Purdy added, "Yeah, if it's a downpouring rain, putting on a glove, I think, for me at least, sort of just helps. Obviously a little bit more tack on the ball and whatnot. If it's a light rain? I don't know if that's necessarily a necessity. I feel like I can grip the ball just as fine with or without a glove with the light rain. So if it's downpouring, I feel like having something to help the hand sort of grip the ball, that's really the only difference."

Sunday marks Purdy's first game back in Philadelphia since suffering a torn ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) in his throwing arm in last season's NFC Championship Game. While the injury required a lengthy offseason recovery, the quarterback was back throwing for training camp, played during the preseason, and was full-go for Week 1.

"Yeah, I got hurt there and everything, but for me, it's Week 13," said Purdy. "We're going on the road in a hostile environment. We're late in the season, so every game is obviously big for us. And so that's where I'm at with my mindset. Am I going to go back and feel a certain way? None of that. It's a new year, two new teams, slightly different in ways. So that's how I'm looking at it."

Shanahan isn't worried about Purdy's mental state in returning to the field where he suffered a severe injury. After all, he's played a lot of football since then.

"I think all that stuff for guys, when they have big injuries, I think the first game, the first hit, things like that, they're a little bit vulnerable to with post-traumatic stress," said Shanahan. "But I think, once they get through that stuff, I think it's over for the most part."

The 49ers felt very confident going into last season's NFC Championship Game, and they believe the result would have been much different than a 31-7 defeat had Purdy avoided injury.

"We felt good about our game plan and stuff," declared Purdy. "Things obviously just didn't go our way in terms of keeping the quarterback healthy, so it's hard to say exactly what we were going to do and all that kind of stuff. Once [backup QB] Josh [Johnson] went down, things sort of changed, and I had to get thrown back in there.

"But in terms of our plan of attack, it's like, yeah, you go into a game feeling like what you're going to do is going to be good, and so we never really got to that, I feel. I'll just leave it at that."

Purdy noted that he has grown a lot as a player since that playoff loss when he was still trying to prove he could play in the NFL. Fast forward to today, and the quarterback is more concerned about playing consistent football and dealing with the nuances involved in playing the position at a high level.

Acknowledging his development as a player and how last season ended in Philadelphia, Purdy added, "Am I going to go in there and get all sentimental about, man, I've come a long way since. It's not really like that. We have a goal in mind, and I'm trying to be the best version of myself every week. So am I going to go into the game saying I want revenge and all this kind of stuff? It's not like that. So I'm just going to try to go do my job and be the best Brock that I can be for this team."

The 49ers and Eagles kick off in Philadelphia on Sunday at 1:25 p.m. PT (4:25 p.m. ET). Oddsmakers have San Francisco currently favored by three points.

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