In the 2022 playoffs, the 49ers had some unfortunate injuries at QB. It ended up costing them the NFC championship game and a spot in the Super Bowl. San Francisco wants to avenge that loss and make it to Super Bowl 58. They’ve already locked up the #1 seed in the NFC and that is a great start.
The 49ers will have a first-round bye in the postseason. Additionally, the team is being extra cautious at QB in 2023. They’ve already decided that Brock Purdy will sit in Week 18 for the 49ers. Backup QB Sam Darnold will get his first start of the 2023 season on Sunday vs. the Rams. Purdy might not be the only starter who sits for San Francisco in their regular season finale vs. Los Angeles.
Sam Darnold will start for Brock Purdy in Week 18
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 4, 2024
At 12-4 this season, the 49ers have already clinched the #1 seed in the NFC playoffs. That means they have a bye in the first round and get an extra week to rest and prepare. In the 2022 postseason, the 49ers have some devastating injuries at QB. The team doesn’t want to end up in a similar situation in 2023. Hence the reason that starting QB Brock Purdy will be sitting in Week 18. Sam Darnold will start in his place. A very capable backup QB with a lot of starting experience.
Darnold is in his sixth professional season after being drafted third overall by the Jets in 2018 out of USC. He started three seasons for New York and went 13-25. After the 2021 season, Darnold signed with the Panthers and played there for two seasons. The 26-year-old started 17 of his 18 games played for Carolina. Darnold was a free agent this past offseason and he decided to sign with the 49ers.
— 49erscast (@49erscast1) January 4, 2024
While the 49ers have already made their decision, some fans, and even former players are not happy with Purdy sitting in Week 18. Hall of Fame QB Steve Young doesn’t like the idea of Purdy sitting out for almost three weeks. He thinks that takes a QB out of his rhythm. Young doesn’t think it will be easy for Purdy to restart so quickly. The team feels differently and they are taking a cautious approach. You cannot blame the 49ers after what happened to them in the NFC championship game in 2022. Sam Darnold will start for the 49ers in Week 18. We will not see Brock Purdy until their divisional round matchup is roughly two weeks.