49ers news: Doctor predicts Brock Purdy recovery, coach weighs in on new kickoff rule

San Francisco 49ers, quarterback Brock Purdy (13)
San Francisco 49ers, quarterback Brock Purdy (13) / Michael Zagaris/GettyImages

One doctor is predicting the 49ers will get the fully healthy version of Brock Purdy after offseason elbow surgery. That, plus Brian Schneider weighs in on the NFL's new kickoff rule.

It would be awfully provocative to see the discussions about the San Francisco 49ers' quarterbacking landscape in 2023 if Brock Purdy hadn't suffered a torn UCL during the NFC Championship game last February.

In some regard, it's even more intriguing because his injury and subsequent surgery last March have left fellow signal-callers Trey Lance and Sam Darnold to battle it out to be Purdy's assumed backup and potential Week 1 starter, if Purdy is both anointed the starter but isn't healthy by the start of the regular season.

By nearly every account, the Niners' brass has already checked Purdy in as the team's starter moving forward and regardless of whatever ramifications that decision has on both Lance and Darnold.

About the only way that potentially changes is if Purdy isn't 100 percent to open up the season and/or his surgically repaired elbow doesn't return to form.

According to one physician, the latter isn't going to be much of a concern.

Doctor predicts 49ers' Brock Purdy 'should be the same QB he was last season'

Dr. Jess Flynn, who has worked with several NFL teams over the years, joined former NFL offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg via the 33rd Team to chat about what the immediate future holds for Purdy and San Francisco.

Flynn's diagnosis was pretty encouraging.

"When he does come back, studies show that you should expect a similar level of play compared to before the injury," Flynn shared.

Flynn also compared the injury to baseball pitchers, which is relevant since Purdy's surgery was performed by Dr. Keith Meister, who performs surgical duties for MLB's Texas Rangers:

"Interestingly, in pitchers, when they have [any] kind of surgery on their Ulnar Collateral Ligament, they usually get better. That's because their injuries tend to be over time where the ligament slowly tears. So, they've been playing with this crap ligament for a long time, they get it replaced with something real and suddenly, their fastball is much faster. Not the case with a quarterback with an acute injury, but you should expect to get that same level of play,"

if anything, it appears Purdy's injury won't be detrimental to his throwing abilities, and that's great news for both him and the Niners.

Hat tip to 49ers Webzone for the find on this one.

49ers defensive coordinator Brian Schneider isn't a fan of NFL's new kickoff rule

As part of the NFL owners meetings earlier this offseason, the league adopted a rule on kickoffs that placed the ball on the 25-yard line after a fair catch regardless of whether or not it was any deeper than that point up to the goal line.

To simplify things for the novice, should a kickoff return specialist call for a fair catch at the 1-yard line, the ball is automatically moved up to the 25-yard line instead of starting play at the 1-yard line as was the case before.

The reason behind the change? Player safety, according to the NFL. And the rule is one that mirrors what's currently being done at the collegiate level.

Read more: New NFL kickoff rule makes Niners' drafting of Jake Moody even more questionable

Defensive coordinator Brian Schneider isn't necessarily a fan of the new rule but will see how things play out, and he said as much to reporters last week, including NBC Sports Bay Area's Angelina Martin:

"Looking at college to see the different kicks, see how people have done it," Schneider said. "We still don't know all the rules yet, so we're trying to go off the rules and what exactly that looks like, so it's more or less just trying to figure out what we're going to anticipate seeing, and then I think through preseason and once you start getting some tape on guys, you'll see their philosophy."

It's probably a safe assessment that plenty of other coordinators and coaches are feeling the same way.

If there is some good news for the purists out there, the rule is only in place for one year and will be decided upon further in 2024.

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