The San Francisco 49ers returned to the field on Wednesday with rookie Brock Purdy assuming starting quarterback responsibilities as the team prepares to welcome in seven-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It's the second time this season that head coach Kyle Shanahan and his team have had to transition from their QB1 with both Trey Lance and Jimmy Garoppolo suffering significant ankle and foot injuries 11 weeks apart.
Per the head coach, the switch from Garoppolo to Purdy at the helm doesn't involve drastic changes to San Francisco's gameplanning or approach 14 weeks into the season.
"They have a similar skillset and we have a lot of confidence in Brock," Shanahan said. "We've seen him in practice. Our players have, we have and that's why we were confident in him. But he hasn't played a ton of football, so there is some unknown out there, but we know he has the ability to do it. We know he has the mentality to do it. I don't like how we got to this point, but we're definitely excited about the option that we have."
Wednesday marks the first time Purdy took the bulk of the reps with the first team offense. During the open portion of practice, he was seen throwing passes to several targets, including George Kittle, Brandon Aiyuk and Tyler Kroft.
Ahead of Wednesday's workouts, teammates reiterated their confidence in Purdy in his new role.
"To come in off the bench and complete 25, 30 passes in a game that you're playing against probably a Super Bowl contender on the other side, a defense that has been pretty freaking good all year, they tested him in a lot of different ways and he made plays," offensive tackle Mike McGlinchey said. "He was ready, and I'm sure he's been dreaming about this a long time. I wouldn't be surprised if Brock does everything in his power to not give it up."
Practice Participation Report for Wednesday
The 49ers had five players sit out of practice: DL Nick Bosa (hamstring), QB Jimmy Garoppolo (foot), DB Tarvarius Moore (knee), DL Hassan Ridgeway (pectoral) and LT Trent Williams (non-injury related, resting player).