What happened to Brock Purdy and the 49ers last year in the playoffs resulted in a rule change that's creating some diverse opinions among players.
Interestingly enough, the San Francisco 49ers didn't propose what's becoming known as the "Brock Purdy rule," a rule that allows teams to carry a third quarterback on a gameday roster without costing a spot on the original 46 who can be active on game day.
It was the Detroit Lions that proposed it.
Lions head coach Dan Campbell shared the sentiments via Mlive.com, pointing out how the Niners suffering injuries to both Purdy and No. 2 quarterback Josh Johnson in the NFC Championship game against the Philadelphia Eagles all but sealed San Francisco's fate:
"Look, the third quarterback deal was strictly because watching the San Francisco game. You’re like, "Oh my God, if that ever happens (to us), that’s the worst possible time.” Look, I thought coach (Kyle) Shanahan made some really good points in there, and it really wasn’t even about the fact, man, this could happen to you."
49ers fans remember Purdy exiting with what turned out to be a torn UCL in his throwing elbow, and then Johnson ended up suffering a concussion.
With no active quarterbacks left on the roster, Purdy had to re-enter the game against Philly but could effectively only hand the ball off on running plays.
The Niners lost 31-7.
Now, teams can carry that third quarterback in an attempt to make a worst-case outcome not quite as detrimental to a game's level of competitiveness.
Not surprisingly, though, reactions from across the league have been mixed.
Eagles' Lane Johnson admits Brock Purdy injury derailed 49ers in NFC Championship
One of those who witnessed San Francisco's demise in the NFC Championship game was Eagles offensive tackle Lane Johnson, who told The Rich Eisen Show (h/t 49ers Webzone) his thoughts on how 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel felt the Niners "lost because we played with 10 people."
While Johnson didn't openly come out and say the NFL needed this rule, he did point out how such an injury can effectively cut off a team's chances at winning:
"Obviously, players get motivated from that, but from what [Samuel] said, it's not too far off. I do think, obviously, if the quarterback doesn't go down, it is a different game. I feel like they obviously weren't able to utilize the team that they were the majority of the second half. And so, yeah, I believe it would have been a lot more competitive game."
That said, it's not too hard to realize that even a No. 2 quarterback on any roster will likely be a dramatic dropoff from a starter, especially in a playoff context.
And that's where Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce felt a disconnect.
Chiefs' Travis Kelce feels 'Brock Purdy rule' is 'such bulls--t'
In a not-so-safe-for-work statement, Kelce ripped into the new rule and pointed out something that San Francisco fans probably don't want to hear but would likely admit if it was the case with any of the 31 other teams.
Third-string quarterbacks usually aren't good. And it'll be hard for them to be good in a playoff format unless they've received first-team reps during practices and such.
Either way, Kelce's response was awfully direct.
“Such bulls--t," Kelce noted, via Bro Bible's Dov Kleiman. "They’re basically saying if the 49ers had a third quarterback, they would’ve gone to the Super Bowl."
Even the most bias and naïve Niners fan would probably admit it would have been tough for any third-stringer to enter that game and somehow carry San Francisco to victory.
Regardless, it's a new rule now. And, like all the others, the players and coaches will ultimately adjust whether they like it or not.