Juice explains why the 49ers’ hope never faded with Purdy at QB

SANTA CLARA – The 49ers didn’t have time to panic after learning how severe Jimmy Garoppolo’s foot injury was in Week 13.

That’s because rookie Brock Purdy has given the team – and the fans – no reason to panic.

Purdy began to earn the respect of his veteran teammates with his behind-the-scenes work months and months ago.

But he gained instant real-life confidence with his gameplay once he was called up on December 4 against the Miami Dolphins after breaking Garoppolo’s foot.

“When a quarterback goes down or a star player goes down, yeah, you’re going to think how dangerous it is,” 49ers Pro Bowl linebacker Kyle Guschek said on the latest “49ers Talk” podcast.

“You’ll realize that’s a big deal that Jimmy just dropped.”

Purdy was playing so well by the time the team discovered the serious nature of Garoppolo’s injury, the emotion felt in the locker room mourned more for Garoppolo than it meant for the season’s hopes.

“Because Brock got so fast there and played so well, you never got to that point of, ‘Oh, the season’s over,’” said Juszczyk. “I think he played well in that game that gave us a lot of hope, and we got that hope quickly.”

In his first game, Purdy completed 25 of 37 pass attempts for 210 yards with two touchdowns and one interception in a 33-17 victory over Miami.

Purdy was a seventh-round pick. Initially, his best sticking with the team was seen as being on the practice squad behind rookie Tre Lance and veteran backup Nate Sudfeld.

But Purdy beat out Sudfeld, securing a place third on the list after Garoppolo agreed to take a pay cut to keep him with the team.

“He worked really hard and played really well,” said Juszczyk of Purdy. “And honestly, that’s how you get everyone’s respect. It’s how you go out and play and how you prepare.”

Purdy showed it against the Dolphins. After that, he continued to play well in wins over Tampa Bay and an NFC West win in Seattle.

The 49ers hit a seven-game winning streak going into Saturday’s game against the Washington Commanders, and Purdy has been a pivotal figure in the past three victories.

“He continues to prove it game after game, and I feel like we’re back to where we have full confidence that we can do whatever we set out to do,” said Joszyk.

While Purdy has remained calm after coming to the 49ers, he hasn’t been shy about asserting himself since his rise to the starting lineup.

Related: 49ers reactions: Should Shanahan limit CMC’s touches?

Juszczyk confirmed that Purdy, who turns 23 next week, has shocked some veteran players in the huddle.

“Nothing offensive,” said Juszczyk. “Anytime a quarterback steps into the huddle, everyone is calm so he can do whatever he wants.

“There were times when guys would just go back and forth about what just happened or what we’re about to do, and it’s, ‘Shut up, let’s go,’ and he calls the play.”

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