NFC Notes: Brock Purdy, Geno Smith, 49ers, Cardinals, Seahawks


The most talked about elbow in the NFL belongs to 49ers QB Brock Purdy after a torn UCL in the NFC title game threw a wrench into one of the best stories of the 2022 season. Although surgical options for torn elbow ligaments have improved in the past decade, meaning Purdy had an alternative to Tommy John surgery that would have probably sidelined him all season, he still faces a recovery timeline of five to seven months that puts him right up against the start of the season. It didn’t help that after suffering the injury on January 29, he had to wait until about March 10 until the swelling went down enough to have surgery. 

“You want to get surgery as fast as possible,” Purdy said via ESPN’s Nick Wagoner and Stephania Bell. “You want to get rehab rolling. So, when it kept getting delayed, I was like, ‘OK, I’m trusting in Dr. Meister and what I’m told from our doctors and everything because they know what’s best.’ … I think we all looked at it from every different angle and I thought that’s what the best plan was.”

From there, Purdy’s recovery will have two stages. The first is just resting and healing from the procedure, and that phase should end in early June. From there, Purdy will begin ramping up his physical activity to recondition his throwing arm. If his body responds well, he could be ready by Week 1, but every recovery timeline is different. Former 49ers QB Nick Mullens also had the same procedure and cautioned there’s a mental recovery to go through as well. 

“Obviously you focus on the elbow and your physical recovery but it’s equally important to focus on the mental recovery, too,” Mullens said. “I don’t know if mentally I was as confident as I could have been. I would tell myself, ‘Dude, work on your mind. Have trust and faith that things are going to work out.'”


Cardinals HC Jonathan Gannon said he believes DB Budda Baker will show up “when he wants to show up” and knows he’ll be ready when the time comes.

I think Budda will show up when he wants to show up,” Gannon said, via PFT. “He’s been awesome. He kinda wears us out a little bit with the tape and different things like that. He’s working, he’ll get himself ready to play.”


Seahawks WR D’Wayne Eskridge has drawn praise from QB Geno Smith this offseason, with Smith thinking that he will be taking the next step in 2023.

“Dee is going to do some things,” Smith said, via Curtis Crabtree of FOX 13 Seattle. “He’s getting ready to do many things. I know things have started slow for him but doesn’t matter. He is a physical specimen. He’s got everything it takes. He’s studying his butt off. I’ve been with him every single day and we are watching extra film and he looks to be really taking that next step.”

“I really see the growth in his mindset and his mentality. He wants it,” Smith continued. “He’s always wanted it and he’s always had that ability, but obviously he’s had some setbacks but I can see just in his mental makeup that he’s ready to take that next step and it’s my job to help him and that’s why I want to be there with him. He’s working his butt off. He’s super explosive out here on the field. He’s one of the more explosive guys I’ve ever seen. If we can get him where I think he’ll be, I think it will help us out a lot.”

  • Smith on first-round WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba: “He’s so impressive. Very smooth route runner. Natural hands. Also, the game is not too big for him. You can see he’s got that self-confidence that you look for.” (Mike Dugar)

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