Should Mr. Irrelevant need to become relevant this season, the rookie quarterback is ready.
The final pick of the 2022 NFL Draft is one Jimmy Garoppolo injury away from starting under center for San Francisco -- something all sides hope to avoid, of course, but a grim reality of the sport, as Sunday showed.
Still, Purdy is approaching his job as he always has.
“My mindset hasn’t changed,” Purdy told The Athletic’s Matt Barrows after Sunday’s game. “I’ve been ready. I’ve studied as if I was the starter for the week. Obviously, my role is different as far as suiting up and being ready to roll in case anything happens, but other than that, my study habits, my prep will all be the same.”
Purdy’s preseason play earned him a spot on the 49ers’ 53-man roster as their third-string quarterback, but he has been inactive through the season’s first two games. Now, he’ll suit up for Sunday’s Week 3 matchup with the Denver Broncos from Empower Field at Mile High.
Garoppolo has suffered injuries in three of his four full seasons in San Francisco, so Purdy -- and the 49ers -- have to prepare for any and all scenarios, as they did by signing the veteran quarterback to back up Lance.
The 49ers now need to target a new third-string quarterback for either the active roster or the practice squad, as coach Kyle Shanahan made it clear Sunday that the team believes Purdy is more than capable as a backup for Garoppolo.
“No,” Shanahan said to a reporter asking if the team would trade for a proven backup, rather than the rookie Purdy. “If Jimmy wasn’t available [this offseason], we were going to go with Brock as our No. 2. So, we got a lot of confidence in him, and obviously we got to get another guy in this building. Whether it’s a third or whether it’s on the practice squad, but we need a third guy.”
There’s no telling who that guy will be, but one thing is evident. The team can feel at ease with a prepared Purdy waiting in the wings.