There are no shortages of question marks at the quarterback position for NFC West teams in 2023. Perhaps the team with the highest stakes and the biggest unknowns are the San Francisco 49ers, who have two young quarterbacks recovering from significant injuries.
Brock Purdy led the 49ers to the NFC Championship game against the Philadelphia Eagles where he suffered an UCL injury. He has spent the offseason rehabbing and working his way back, though he recently told Yahoo! Sports that he’s “not really sure” whether he will play in 2023:
That remains an early step in recovery, Purdy saying Friday he’s “not really sure, honestly” whether he’ll play in 2023 as he takes it “one day at a time.” In recent days, progress has come in the form of increased mobility.
“Just to be able to get out of the brace, move around more frequently and stuff like that — I know it sounds small, but that’s a big win,” Purdy said over Zoom, speaking on behalf of Buffalo Wild Wings. “That’s how I look at it: Finding little things like that to be positive about and understand you have what it takes to get back to being yourself on the field.”
This quote could be from a young player that is going through a difficult recovery and taking things one step at a time to avoid getting ahead of himself—though at the very least it should concern the 49ers.
If Purdy ends up being unavailable for training camp and the start of the new season, San Francisco would instead turn to Trey Lance. The 49ers traded to select Lance third overall in the 2021 NFL Draft, but he’s played sparingly over the past couple of years.
The 49ers’ other option is veteran Sam Darnold, who wore out his welcome with the New York Jets but played well to close out the season last year with the Carolina Panthers. With lesser talented players like Purdy and Jimmy Garoppolo finding success in the Kyle Shanahan offense, it’s fair to wonder how Darnold would fair with his high-end skillset that once made him the third overall selection in 2018. Despite five seasons under his belt, Darnold will be just 26 years old for the 2023 season.
The Arizona Cardinals are planning to be without Kyler Murray to start the regular season. Matthew Stafford seems healthy and ready to lead the youth movement for the Los Angeles Rams this year.
Perhaps the team with the most consistency at quarterback in 2023 are the Seattle Seahawks, who could still decide to take a quarterback towards the top of the draft after extending Geno Smith to a mid-level contract this offseason.