Kyle Shanahan 49ers Oct 3, 2021; Santa Clara, California, USA; San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan walks on the field before the game against the Seattle Seahawks at Levi’s Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan knows where he stands on the team’s quarterback dilemma. Going into the season, the Niners can pull three cards: Sam Darnold, Trey Lance, or Brock Purdy. If all three are healthy, Shanahan made it very clear that he’s behind one of them in particular.

Akash Anavarathan posted on X, “Kyle Shanahan told Albert Breer that ‘Brock Purdy would have to melt in practice to lose the starting job.'” Anavarathan added, “I don’t even remember Shanahan talking about Garoppolo like this after 2017, but this is how you inject confidence into a second-year starting quarterback.”

That response comes as a bit of a shock while Purdy progresses his way back to the field. The former Iowa State Cyclones quarterback sustained a serious UCL injury in the 2023 NFC Championship Game. That injury forced him out of the game, and the Niners later lost to the Philadelphia Eagles.

Shanahan is certainly behind Purdy, though; based on results, it’s easy to understand why. He was inserted into a tricky spot last season and helped lead the 49ers to the NFC Championship Game. He gained and earned the respect of the locker room around him as several Niners went to bat for him.

That doesn’t mean they wouldn’t do the same thing for Trey Lance. But it’s very clear that the team seems fully behind Brock Purdy, even as shocking as Shanahan’s straight answer might seem.

[Akash Anavarathan]

About Chris Novak

Chris Novak has been talking and writing about sports ever since he can remember. Previously, Novak wrote for and managed sites in the SB Nation network for nearly a decade from 2013-2022