Brock Purdy's incredible late-season surge came to a disappointing end Sunday as the former Iowa State quarterback was injured early in the San Francisco 49ers' 31-7 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC title game.
Purdy suffered an elbow injury on San Francisco's opening drive and had to leave the game. He finished just 4-for-4 passing for 23 yards, and returned late only after backup quarterback Josh Johnson suffered a concussion in the third quarter. By that point, though, Purdy could barely throw the ball farther than a few yards.
The loss was a microcosm of the 49ers' season-long quarterback situation, which saw San Francisco turn to Purdy after Trey Lance and Jimmy Garoppolo suffered season-ending injuries earlier in the year.
More:Mr. Irrelevant? Hardly. 49ers' Brock Purdy already among the best in NFL's last-pick club
Even with the limited action, plenty of chatter regarding Purdy and his future began following the loss. Here is what the NFL media are saying about the rookie quarterback.
How severe Brock Purdy's injury is remains to be seen.
Reports are that Purdy suffered an ulnar collateral ligament injury, but the severity of it won't be determined until Purdy undergoes an MRI.
"49ers believe QB Brock Purdy injured his ulnar collateral ligament during today's NFC Championship Game, per sources, and he will undergo an MRI Monday," ESPN's Adam Schefter tweeted. "The hope is that it's not ruptured, and it would require only a six-week recovery, but tests Monday will provide clarity."
However, if the UCL is ruptured, Purdy could be looking at surgery and a much longer recovery time.
Did Brock Purdy do enough to be the 49ers' starting quarterback moving forward?
That's what The Athletic's Mike Sando explores here.
"Tom Brady, anyone?" Sando writes. "The 49ers may or may not need to upgrade from Purdy to get over the top. What they really need are options more reliable than the ones that keep letting them down."
One thing San Francisco made quite clear this season is it has the pieces around the quarterback position to compete for a Super Bowl. It literally took removing every QB on the roster before the 49ers looked vulnerable under center.
Which brings us to this San Francisco offseason. Does Purdy's late-season surge and cheap contract make him the favorite to be the 49ers' starting quarterback Week 1 next season? Is San Francisco really going to give up on Trey Lance already, whether that be trading him or making him the backup? And could Brady make a surprise cameo with Purdy as the backup next season?
Sando dives into all that. Buckle up for an interesting offseason by the Bay.
No doubt, there will be plenty of chatter that Brock Purdy is the 49ers' answer at quarterback
And some of it has already started. Bill Williamson of SB Nation writes: "The time is now to proclaim that Purdy, the very last pick in the 2022 NFL draft, is the answer for 2023 and beyond. The 49ers got their guy, whether it was by accident or not. There is no reason for (coach Kyle) Shanahan and 49ers' general manager John Lynch to overthink this. It's Purdy's team."
Purdy showed a lot in his nearly two months of starting, and it's clear the 49ers wouldn't have reached the NFL title game without his services. For the first time in a while, San Francisco finally had stability under center.
Will that be enough for Purdy to win the job? That's unclear. But what is clear is that Purdy won over a lot of fans by coming off the bench and nearly taking San Francisco to the Super Bowl.
Dargan Southard is a sports trending reporter and covers Iowa athletics for the Des Moines Register and HawkCentral.com. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter at @Dargan_Southard.
This article originally appeared on Des Moines Register: What NFL media have said about Brock Purdy's injury, future with 49ers