ENGLEWOOD — After Brock Purdy failed to connect with receivers on a couple of passes in the 49ers’ 30-23 win over the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday, George Kittle joked he knew why that happened.
“I think it’s because he has a really strong elbow and he just kind of sailed,” Kittle said Sunday at SoFi Stadium. “It’ll come back to him. We’re not worried about that. I don’t expect Brock to play perfect. That’s why we have such a great offense and defense around him; he doesn’t have to play perfect. And none of us are asking for that either.”
Purdy’s comeback from surgery on the ulnar collateral ligament in his throwing elbow has been well documented, but no one honestly blames the E-Force in Purdy’s elbow for the mistakes. Coach Kyle Shanahan believes that otherwise, his quarterback has had a solid performance.
“I thought Brock had a great game,” Shanahan said via conference call Monday. “The only thing I feel we can say negatively about his game is those three fouls, which are big, especially when they’re on the field because usually there are points, but he played a very good game.”
Purdy finished the game completing 17 of his 25 attempts for 206 yards and a rushing touchdown, giving him a passer rating of 93.1. This was the first game since being named the club’s starting quarterback in which the Iowa State product did not record a touchdown pass, but more importantly, Purdy did not turn the ball over.
Kittle isn’t worried about his younger teammate, knowing the 23-year-old has a support staff there to help when things don’t go exactly to plan. The All-Pro tight end believes Purdy’s maturity is key to the offense remaining productive when faced with adversity.
“You want him to make every throw. If he doesn’t make it, that’s OK,” Kittle said. “We have a good enough team to make up for that kind of stuff. It is constant, never rising, never falling. He has great celebrations when he makes great plays, and he’s not as hard on himself as he should be.
“We are a good team and we can bring him if we want.”
Purdy uncharacteristically missed passes to Brandon Aiyuk, Deebo Samuel and Juwan Jennings in Sunday’s contest, but all of the receivers spoke out in support of their teammate. They believe they will only continue to build chemistry as they spend more time together on the court.
The most important part of Sunday’s sectional matchup was Southern California leaving with the win.
“He was swinging,” Aiyuk said of Purdy on Sunday. “He got us going and got us out of there. He’s the leader of this team. He got us going offensively and put points on the board to finish this game out.”
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