Mon Jan 30 7:55pm ET
By JOSH DUBOW
AP Pro Football Writer
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy tore a ligament in his throwing elbow, putting his status for the start of next season in question.
A person familiar with the injury confirmed the diagnosis of the injury Purdy sustained in the NFC title game. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the team has not released details on the injury.
NFL Network first reported that Purdy tore the ulnar collateral ligament in his right arm and said he will seek a second opinion on whether he needs a repair or a reconstruction.
A repair of the elbow typically would lead to Purdy being sidelined for six months, which would mean he could return close to the start of training camp. A reconstruction would likely sidelined Purdy into the 2023 season.
The latest quarterback injury for San Francisco throws another wrench into their future plans at the position. Their Week 1 starter from this season, Trey Lance, went down with a season-ending ankle injury in Week 2 that required follow-up surgery last month.
Jimmy Garoppolo replaced Lance, but broke his foot in Week 13 and is eligible to be a free agent in March.
Purdy took over and won his first seven starts as a rookie before getting hurt on the first drive of the NFC championship game loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday.
''My arm felt like it stretched out,'' Purdy said after the game. ''It felt like a lot of shocks all over from my elbow, down to my wrist. Front and back. Just pain all over.''
Purdy came back into the game in the second half after backup Josh Johnson left with a concussion and mostly was only able to hand the ball off. He attempted two passes with the injured elbow with neither going more than 1 yard beyond the line of scrimmage.
''I couldn't throw anything over 5-10 yards,'' he said. ''That is why we just had some screens. That was our only option when I went back in.''
Purdy, who was selected with the last pick in the 2022 draft, was a revelation when he got forced into action. He threw for 1,374 yards, 13 touchdowns and only four interceptions in the regular season.
Purdy helped the Niners win their first two playoff games, throwing for 546 yards and three TDs with no turnovers in wins over Seattle and Dallas. Purdy was the third rookie ever to win two playoff starts.
Purdy's 108 passer rating in the regular season and playoffs combined is the best ever for a rookie with at least 200 attempts.
Championship Round Preview
Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Skyy Moore caught three of his seven targets for 13 yards in a 23-20 win over the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC Championship. Moore also contributed a clutch 29-yard punt return late in the fourth quarter that set the Chiefs up for the eventual game-winning field goal with three seconds left on the clock. Moore saw extra work with JuJu Smith-Schuster leaving with a knee injury in the second quarter as the rookie's seven targets were a season-high. The rookie wideout now has four catches for 13 yards across his team's two playoff games this postseason. He has two weeks to prepare to take on the Philadelphia Eagles in the Super Bowl.
The Kansas City Chiefs defense played well in a 23-20 win over the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC Championship on Sunday. The Chiefs picked off Joe Burrow twice while adding five sacks on the way to punching their ticket to the Super Bowl. Kansas City was led by Chris Jones, who contributed two sacks, while Joshua Williams and Jaylen Watson added an interception each. Kansas City will now have two weeks to get ready to take on the Philadelphia Eagles in the Super Bowl.
Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker made all three of his field goals and added two extra points in a 23-20 win over the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC Championship. Butker drilled field goals from 43, 24, and 45 yards out. His final field goal of the game came with three seconds left in the game and broke a 20-20 tie, propelling the Chiefs to the Super Bowl. Butker has hit all five of his field goals in his two playoff games this postseason. He will now have two weeks to get ready to take on the Philadelphia Eagles.
Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Mecole Hardman caught two of his three targets for 10 yards and added seven yards on two carries in a 23-20 win over the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC Championship on Sunday. Hardman was making his first appearance in a game since injuring his pelvis in Week 9. He didn't make it through the contest unscathed, however, as he appeared to aggravate the injury after making a catch in the third quarter. Hardman's status for the Super Bowl is now in question, although he has two weeks to rest up.
Updating a previous report, San Francisco 49ers rookie quarterback Brock Purdy (elbow) will undergo surgery to fix a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow, but he should be healthy in six months. Purdy suffered the torn UCL early in the NFC Championship loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday and only returned to the game after Josh Johnson suffered a concussion and couldn't continue. It won't be a traditional Tommy John surgery but more of a simple repair, but it doesn't mean he'll be fully ready to rock in training camp as he looks to compete for the starting QB gig with Trey Lance, who broke his fibula and suffered injured ankle ligaments early in 2022. Jimmy Garoppolo (foot) is scheduled to be a free agent. Barring an outside addition at the position, Lance will likely be the favorite to start in the 2023 regular season opener.
Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid said that cornerback L'Jarius Sneed (concussion) is in the league's concussion protocol after suffering a head injury in the 23-20 win over the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC Championship on Sunday. Sneed usually covers the opposing team's top wide receiver, so his status for the Super Bowl in two weeks will be one to monitor. The 26-year-old left the game in the first quarter and never returned, but the Chiefs secondary was still able to keep the Bengals' high-powered offense in check. If he's able to clear the protocol and play in the Super Bowl, Sneed will most likely be tasked with shutting down Philadelphia Eagles pass-catcher A.J. Brown on the outside.
The Indianapolis Colts intend to bring Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Brian Callahan in for a second interview this week for their head-coaching position. The Arizona Cardinals have also requested to interview Callahan for their head-coaching vacancy this week after the Bengals lost in the AFC Championship to the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday. He's expected to interview with the Colts on Wednesday and with the Cardinals on Thursday. Callahan has been Cincy's offensive coordinator since 2019 and previously was the quarterbacks coach for the Las Vegas Raiders and Detroit Lions. The Colts are also bringing in Rich Bisaccia, Ejiro Evero, Raheem Morris and Jeff Saturday in for second interviews.
The Las Vegas Raiders haven't given quarterback Derek Carr's agent permission to talk to other teams, according to league and team sources familiar with the situation. It's notable because the Raiders have to trade or cut Carr before Feb. 15, when the $32.9 million base salary for 2023 and $7.5 million for 2024 money become fully guaranteed. The 31-year-old was benched for the final two games of the season, and he left the team completely while also saying goodbye to the organization on social media. Carr is pretty much holding all the cards, since he can veto any trade. If the Raiders simply cut him, they'd have a dead salary cap hit of $5.625 million and nothing in return. In 15 games in 2022, Carr had a 60.8% completion percentage, 3,522 yards, 24 touchdowns and career-high-tying 14 interceptions. A change of scenery could be good for him, and plenty of teams will be looking for a veteran QB.
San Francisco 49ers rookie quarterback Brock Purdy (elbow) suffered a complete tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow in the NFC Championship loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday and will be out six months, according to a source. The 49ers are recommending surgery, but Purdy is seeking second medical opinions and no official decision has been made on surgery yet. San Fran had terrible injury luck at the QB position this year, as former first-rounder Trey Lance suffered a fractured fibula and ligament damage to his ankle early in the year before Jimmy Garoppolo broke his foot in December. Garoppolo will be a free agent, so it's likely that Purdy and Lance will be competing for the starting job this summer. The 23-year-old Purdy was great in eight starts, completing 67% of his passes for 1,667 yards, 14 TDs and two picks, but Lance is probably still the favorite in the long run.
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow just completed his third NFL season and is eligible for a contract extension this offseason. He has lived up to expectations to this point after being the No. 1 overall pick in 2020. Burrow led the Bengals to the Super Bowl last year and advanced to the AFC Championship this season. Cincy will surely pick up his fifth-year option this spring, unless they sign him to a big contract extension first. "Yeah, I think that starts now internally," head coach Zac Taylor said when asked about Burrow being eligible for a second contract. The 26-year-old had a 68.3% completion percentage, 4,475 yards, 35 touchdowns and 12 interceptions in 16 regular season games in 2022. He'll easily be a top-five QB1 target for fantasy managers heading into 2023.
Kansas City Chiefs running back Jerick McKinnon was held in check in the 23-20 win over the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC Championship on Sunday. McKinnon carried the ball only four times for one yard and caught two of his four targets for 17 yards through the air. The 30-year-old also recovered a fumble in the contest. It was a disappointing performance for McKinnon, especially with receivers JuJu Smith-Schuster (knee), Kadarius Toney (ankle) and Mecole Hardman (pelvis) all getting hurt during the game. In the Chiefs' two playoff games, McKinnon has only 15 carries for 26 yards and two catches for 17 yards. There's a chance his workload could be reduced even further, too, if Clyde Edwards-Helaire (ankle) comes off Injured Reserve to play in the Super Bowl in two weeks.
Atlanta Falcons tight end Kyle Pitts' (knee) rehab/recovery from a season-ending right knee injury is "on schedule," according to tight ends coach Justin Peele. The 22-year-old Pitts needed surgery for a Grade 2 MCL sprain in late November after getting hurt in Week 11. The good news is he's on the right track and could be able to take part in all of the team's offseason workouts, barring a setback. In his second NFL season in 2022, Pitts caught 28 of his 59 targets for 356 yards and two touchdowns in 10 games played before his knee injury. He's been an extremely frustrating fantasy starter the last two years, but he's still young and had over 1,000 yards receiving in his rookie season. If the Falcons figure out some stability at the quarterback position, Pitts could easily break out in 2023 if he's healthy.
The Arizona Cardinals have requested permission to interview Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo for their vacant head-coaching position, according to a league source. The Bengals were eliminated from the playoffs on Sunday with a loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, and Anarumo will now interview with Arizona this week. The 56-year-old has been Cincy's defensive coordinator since Zac Taylor took over as the head coach in 2019. The Bengals D finished 16th in yards allowed in 2022 but also sixth in points allowed. Among others, former New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton and former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores are in the mix for the Cardinals' vacant head-coaching job.
The Arizona Cardinals requested an interview with Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Brian Callahan for their head-coaching position, according to a source. Callahan is also a candidate for the head-coaching job for the Indianapolis Colts this offseason. The Bengals were eliminated from postseason contention in the AFC Championship on Sunday by the Kansas City Chiefs, so Callahan will have time to interview with the Colts and Cardinals this week. He's been Cincinnati's offensive coordinator since Zac Taylor took over as head coach in 2019. Callahan previously worked as a quarterbacks coach for the Las Vegas Raiders and Detroit Lions. In addition to Callahan, the Cardinals also asked for permission to interview Bengals defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo on Monday.
Former Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore is expected to become the Los Angeles Chargers' next offensive coordinator, according to sources. The talented play-caller parted ways with the Cowboys on Sunday, but he'll make the move from quarterback Dak Prescott to quarterback Justin Herbert. Moore served as Dallas' offensive coordinator for the last four seasons and led them to an offensive rank inside the top 10 in the league three times. In LA, he'll replace Joe Lombardi and will have an arguably better collection of offensive skill players to work with in the likes of Herbert, running back Austin Ekeler and receivers Keenan Allen and Mike Williams. With Moore now gone in Dallas, it's possible that head coach Mike McCarthy could take over play-calling duties in 2023.
Dynasty | Damien Harris is a free agent in 2023 Dynasty Analysis: Harris turns 26 in February and will likely be seeking a greater role with a new team. All indications are that the Patriots won't bring him back on a larger contract meaning that he should find greener pastures. Over his four-year career, Harris has managed a healthy 4.7 ypc. average while showing some ability as a receiver as well. He profiles as a two-down back with some third-down upside and, while he has struggled with injury over his entire NFL career, he's done enough to garner interest on the open market. Harris, DLF's RB33, will be a risk-on option prior to his free agency status playing out.
Dynasty | Darius Slayton is a free agent in 2023 Dynasty Analysis: Slayton was set to be cut in the preseason but managed to hang onto his roster spot, ultimately becoming a top option for the Giants when Sterling Shepard's season ended. Slayton finished with a 46/724/2 line and should find suitors on the open market. Recently-turned 26, Slayton is found as DLF's WR88 and could be a sneaky addition as a sleeper for 2023.
Dynasty | Tight end Hayden Hurst is a free agent in 2023 Dynasty Analysis: By all accounts, for all the Hayden Hurst hype in the pre-season, his 52/414/2 2023 stat line was disappointing considering the offensive potential. Entering his age-30 season, it's hard to imagine the veteran having much more upside or potential than in Cincinnati and it remains to be seen if the team will bring him back on another short-term contract. Finishing near the TE20 in non-tight end premium leagues, Hurst is listed as DLF's TE28.
The Philadelphia Eagles defense yielded seven points to San Francisco, generated three sacks, and forced three turnovers during the team's 31-7 victory. The lone touchdown the team gave up was to all-star running back Christian McCaffrey. The Eagles forced three fumbles and recovered all of them in this contest, with the first causing an injury to the elbow of starting quarterback Brock Purdy. Backup Josh Johnson played a few series after this before suffering a concussion on a sack, forcing the injured Purdy back into the game without being able to throw downfield. Philadelphia's defense held up after this and ended the day with the top fantasy performance of all defenses during Conference Championship Weekend. Even against Patrick Mahomes in two weeks during the Super Bowl, the Eagles' defense will be the favorite option for many playing DFS.
Philadelphia Eagles kicker Jake Elliott nailed his only field goal attempt from 31 yards away and converted four extra points during the team's 31-7 victory over the San Francisco 49ers. Philadelphia took the game over once 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy (elbow) suffered an injury on a fumble. After this, backup Josh Johnson was taken off the field after suffering a concussion, forcing the injured Purdy to play. The Eagles were not their usual aggressive selves after this but still found the end zone when in scoring range four times. It led to just one field goal attempt for the 28-year-old and another mediocre fantasy performance. He will have a chance to have a better performance in two weeks against Kansas City in the Super Bowl, but Harrison Butker will be the favorite for most in DFS lineups.