The severity of Brock Purdy's elbow injury is now clear, and the diagnosis explains why he was unable to throw beyond a few yards in Sunday's loss to the Eagles.
Purdy suffered a complete tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow and will undergo surgery, NFL Network Insider Tom Pelissero reported Monday, per a source.
Pelissero adds that Purdy is seeking a second opinion, but the initial hope is he can undergo a repair -- not a reconstruction, commonly known as Tommy John surgery -- and will be ready for training camp.
If Purdy can have the UCL repaired and avoid reconstruction, the standard timeline for return is six months, giving him a chance to return near the start of 2023 training camp, per Pelissero.
Purdy suffered the injury midway through the first quarter of Sunday's NFC Championship Game when he dropped back to pass and attempted a throw just as Eagles edge rusher Haason Reddick hit the QB's throwing arm, resulting in a fumble recovered by Philadelphia's Linval Joseph. Purdy attempted to throw through the pain on the sideline, but it quickly became evident he was unable to do so, forcing the 49ers to turn to veteran Josh Johnson.
Johnson remained in the game until early in the third quarter, when he slammed the back of his head on the turf while being tackled. Purdy replaced Johnson, but was unable to throw a pass beyond a few yards in front of him, reducing the 49ers' offense to a run-first attack that didn't stand a chance of erasing Philadelphia's growing lead.
Purdy's rookie season was nothing short of magical. The final pick of the 2022 draft -- also known as Mr. Irrelevant -- replaced an injured Jimmy Garoppolo in Week 14 and won each of his first eight games (seven starts), helping the 49ers move within one victory of a trip to Super Bowl LVII.
Unfortunately, Purdy's tale didn't come with a storybook ending to the 2022 season. He'll attempt to write a new chapter beginning with surgery and a lengthy rehab process that will likely take up his entire 2023 offseason.