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Purdy, Darnold Discuss Navigating Week 18 Assignments vs. Rams

After 16 starts in 2023, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy is going to do something he hasn't done since Week 2 of his rookie season - be inactive for a game while healthy. The start of Purdy's career was unconventional from the jump with the 49ers losing one of their three starting quarterbacks from the 2022 season early in the year.

After quarterback Trey Lance suffered a season-ending injury versus the Seattle Seahawks in San Francisco's home opener, Purdy served as backup before taking over as QB1 in Week 13. He's been suited up for every game since, that is, until now. Head coach Kyle Shanahan has ruled out Purdy in an effort to keep him healthy for the quickly approaching NFC Divisional Round. 

"Just the initial conversation that we had... I was like, 'Man, this is all I know. This is all I know, to prepare for the next game and get ready,'" Purdy said. "Especially when we went out to practice, and I saw all my teammates doing that. Everyone was dressed out and ready to go and preparing for the Rams.

"I'm practicing, but obviously, getting the go for the game. It's a little weird, but it's part of it. We're doing what is best for the team and the organization."

It will be Sam Darnold taking over quarterbacking duties for the 49ers come Sunday, marking his first regular season start since Week 18 when he was with the Carolina Panthers. 

"If I do need to go in there, l'll do my best, and whenever I can get reps, it's always helpful moving forward," Darnold said. 

Darnold has seen action in nine games this season with games mostly in hand and once in relief of Purdy when the QB suffered a stinger against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 15.

"I've always viewed myself as someone who just tries to help the team win, however I can," Darnold said. "I kind of did that last year (in Carolina) when Baker (Mayfield) got named the starter... I'm just continuing to embrace that role and do everything I can to help these guys get wins on Sundays."

While Darnold is under center, Purdy plans to be plugged in as much as possible while the rest of his teammates close out the regular season. 

"I'll be in tune with the play calls and everything," Purdy said. "This week, I've still gone about my process with the installs, the plays and everything. I'm going to do my part to help out Sam and what I'm seeing on the sidelines, just like what he's done all year for me. I'll have the headset, be listening to the plays and still going through my process."

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