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John Lynch repeats Brock Purdy is “leader in the clubhouse”

Chris Simms explains to Mike Florio how Brock Purdy’s ability to recognize the difference between being aggressive and reckless is a primary reason why he lands No. 26 on his Top 40 QB Countdown.

Brock Purdy has started throwing again as he works his way back from elbow surgery. Neither he nor the 49ers have put a timeline on the quarterback’s return, but the season opener is the goal with at least part of training camp a possibility.

Whenever Purdy returns, he is expected to return to the starting lineup.

49ers General Manager John Lynch repeated what he said in March about the job being Purdy’s to lose.

“Brock is the leader in the clubhouse, as we said, but it’s open for competition,” Lynch said Wednesday on SiriusXM NFL Radio, via David Lombardi of

Purdy played as a rookie only because of injuries to Trey Lance and Jimmy Garoppolo. He finished his rookie regular season completing 67.1 percent of his passes for 1,374 yards, 13 touchdowns and four interceptions in seven games.

He completed 65.1 percent of his passes for 569 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions in three playoff games, injuring his right elbow early in the NFC Championship Game loss to the Eagles. Purdy underwent surgery March 10 to repair on the torn ulnar collateral ligament and needs a slow, three-month buildup before he is fully cleared for football activities.

The 49ers have seen enough to believe they have their quarterback of the present and the future.

“Is it a flash in the pan or is it the real deal?” Lynch said. “As we’ve gone back and studied it, he played at a high, high level. Not only played within the system, he made a lot of plays outside the system by extending plays. He showed tremendous playmaking ability. He showed tremendous ability to run the system efficiently, effectively, push the ball downfield. He just had an incredible first year.”

The 49ers still have Trey Lance, the No. 3 overall pick in 2021, and they signed Sam Darnold in free agency. But if Purdy gets back in time, and it’s expected he will, then he will start against the Steelers on opening day.