San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy is in the NFL’s concussion protocol after experiencing symptoms on the flight home following the team’s Week 7 loss to the Minnesota Vikings. Purdy is feeling better, but he must still clear several protocols in order to be eligible to play in the 49ers’ Week 8 matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Head coach Kyle Shanahan said that Purdy has “plenty of time” to clear the protocol and be ready for Sunday’s game, but he also acknowledged that the team is preparing for the possibility that Purdy will be unable to play.
“We’re going to take it day by day,” Shanahan said. “He’s feeling better, but he still has to go through the process.”
If Purdy is unable to play, veteran quarterback Sam Darnold will start for the 49ers. Darnold has appeared in one game this season, completing 23 of 30 passes for 229 yards and a touchdown.
Purdy has been the 49ers’ starting quarterback since Week 4 after Jimmy Garoppolo suffered a season-ending injury. Purdy has completed 67.3% of his passes for 1,111 yards, nine touchdowns, and three interceptions in seven games this season.
The 49ers are entering Week 8 with a 4-3 record, which is tied for the third-best record in the NFC West. The Bengals, meanwhile, have a 5-2 record and are in first place in the AFC North.
A win for the 49ers would keep them in the thick of the NFC West race, while a win for the Bengals would further solidify their lead in the AFC North.
Here is a more in-depth look at Purdy’s concussion protocol and what it means for the 49ers:
What is the NFL’s concussion protocol?
The NFL’s concussion protocol is a five-step process that players must go through if they are suspected of having a concussion. The steps are as follows:
- Evaluation: A team physician will evaluate the player’s symptoms and perform a physical examination.
- Rest: The player will be required to rest both physically and mentally.
- Graded symptom checklist: The player will be given a graded symptom checklist to complete on a daily basis.
- Exertion testing: Once the player is symptom-free, they will begin a gradual return to exertion testing.
- Full football activity: Once the player has successfully completed the exertion testing, they will be cleared to return to full football activity.
How long does it take to clear the concussion protocol?
There is no set timeline for clearing the concussion protocol. The amount of time it takes depends on the severity of the concussion and how the player responds to treatment. Some players are able to clear the protocol in a few days, while others may take weeks or even months.
What does Purdy’s concussion protocol status mean for the 49ers?
Purdy’s concussion protocol status means that he is uncertain to play against the Bengals in Week 8. If Purdy is unable to play, Sam Darnold will start in his place.
The 49ers are hoping that Purdy will be able to clear the concussion protocol in time for the game against the Bengals, but they are also preparing for the possibility that he will be unable to play.
Here are some of the potential impacts of Purdy’s concussion protocol status on the 49ers:
- Offensive continuity: Purdy has been the 49ers’ starting quarterback for the past four games, so he has developed a good rapport with his teammates. If he is unable to play, the 49ers’ offense will have to adjust to having Darnold under center.
- Play-calling: Shanahan is known for his creative play-calling, but he may have to tailor his play-calling to Darnold’s strengths and weaknesses.
- Game plan: The 49ers may have to adjust their game plan if Purdy is unable to play. For example, they may need to rely more on the running game or take fewer deep shots.