The San Francisco 49ers exited Monday Night’s loss with some additional bad news, as quarterback Brock Purdy entered the concussion protocol after initially reporting symptoms on the plane back home, according to head coach Kyle Shanahan.
With Purdy’s status in limbo, the 49ers could be forced to turn over to backup quarterback Sam Darnold, who beat out former No. 3 overall pick Trey Lance for the second-string role in the offseason.
Darnold, who has yet to see extensive action with the 49ers, has 55 career starts under his belt, but has been inconsistent throughout his career.
What would the difference be without Purdy for the 49ers offense? One NFL analyst believes there wouldn't be much change at all.
Speaking on ESPN’s Get Up, analyst Dan Orlovsky boldly shared his belief that the 49ers offense wouldn't skip a beat with Sam Darnold as their quarterback, pointing to his physical talents.
“I think the offense will be just fine and won’t skip a beat under Sam Darnold,” Orlovsky said on Get Up. “That is not a knock on Brock Purdy. Brock Purdy has been an elite quarterback this year, a top-five guy in the NFL. Sam Darnold’s the most talented quarterback Kyle Shanahan would have had since at least Matt Ryan.”
Orlovsky pointed to the improved system and porous situations in the past as the reasons for Darnold looking good in San Francisco, which is why he doesn't expect much change to occur offensively.
“And this is a young man that has been in awful situations since he was a part of the NFL, and some good, and some bad. But this is by far the best situation when it comes to, ‘do I have a good offense to be in? Yes. Do I have a great play caller? Yes. Do I have the proper people around me?’ Yes.”
Now, the discourse may prove itself irrelevant, as Purdy was seen practicing during the early portion of practice on Thursday, despite still being in the concussion protocol, indicating that he could be on schedule to play on Sunday, barring any setbacks.
But, that begs the question: would there be a major difference with a quarterback change?
I believe Purdy is certainly the better quarterback, but Darnold could have a chance to showcase his talents in an improved system, should he earn the start on Sunday.