With Brock Purdy In Concussion Protocol, Will backup Sam Darnold Be Able To Step Up To The Plate?

Published 10/26/2023, 12:12 AM EDT

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49ers‘ Kyle Shanahan has confirmed that Brock Purdy will miss their next game due to concussion protocol. It’s unclear when or where the quarterback actually concussed, but that doesn’t matter as the outcome remains the same. It may be, is a great opportunity after all for quarterback Sam Darnold.

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But can the 26-year-old match Purdy’s bandwidth to hand them the edge over Joe Burrow‘s Bengals? The answer is actually hidden in the four games Darnold has played this season. Let’s dive in.

With Brock Purdy Out, is Sam Darnold in?

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As soon as head coach Shanahan revealed the news to reporters on Wednesday, everyone already realized what that meant. It means a potential starting role for the back QB after coming on multiple times during this season. Darnold is a household name in the NFL and has proven to be dependable in similar scenarios before.

Now he likely faces the same route once again, with mandatory concussion protocol keeping Purdy away. NFL Insider Adam Schefter too, believes that Darnold is in contention to start against the Bengals. He has shared the insight on X (formerly, Twitter).

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While the news may come as concerning to many of the 49ers fans, one can probably relief knowing that the offense will be in good hands. But why are we saying that? Actually, we aren’t saying anything, the stats are.

Can Sam Darnold fill in Brock Purdy’s shoes?

To start things off simply, the 49ers have won every single game that Darnold has played in and has lost every game he didn’t. Let that sink in for a moment. Although a bit misleading, mostly because of his late appearances in those games, Darnold might even be the lucky charm for the team.

Out of the four games the QB started, he only registered 1/1 pass with a 100% completion rate in the Cowboys‘ destruction. But his presence proved to be too much to handle for the opposition.

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But the story is a bit different this time. Darnold has to fire the engine and not only drive it. And he might not want to waste the long-awaited opportunity.

The fans are counting n on him, and so is Kyle Shanahan. He better keep their trust, as the 49ers have a fair chance of cracking the playoffs this season. Impressing early on can earn him a potential chance to shine in one of the championship games.

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For now, however, the target is fairly simple. It’s Joe Burrow and his Bengals, on Sunday, 29 October.

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Written by:

Sagnik Ghosh

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Sagnik Ghosh is an NFL writer at EssentiallySports. He loves to follow the build-ups to heated games and cover the stories of athletes that go untold. Sagnik prioritizes producing engaging write-ups for his readers and excels in breaking down complex plays.
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Edited by:

Sharan Nair

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