The San Francisco 49ers have earned the No. 1 seed in the NFC which means they get a first-round bye in the playoffs. This also means they get to rest several starters in Week 18 against the Los Angeles Rams, a game that has no playoff consequences for either team.
One of the starters that will get a rest in Week 18 is quarterback Brock Purdy. Sam Darnold will start in his place.
Why 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy will not be rusty for the playoffs
The main reason for this decision is to ensure that Purdy will be healthy for the playoffs. Especially after last season, it is understandable why Kyle Shanahan would be extra careful with his starting quarterback.
This has sparked a discussion among pundits and fans: Will Purdy getting two weeks of rest make him rusty for the divisional round?
It is easy to understand why some may have this concern. Purdy is still a young quarterback, and even though he has had a great Pro Bowl-caliber year, one could argue that it doesn’t hurt to have more reps before a potential postseason run.
The flip side of this argument is that Purdy has looked phenomenal when rested this season. Just look at his performance in Week 1 against the Pittsburgh Steelers. He completed 19 of his 29 passes for 220 yards and two touchdowns. He looked excellent and made one of his more impressive throws of the year to Brandon Aiyuk.
Flash forward to the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars after the 49ers had their bye week. Before the bye, the Purdy and the Niners looked tired and sloppy, losing three straight games. Purdy made uncharacteristic mistakes and interceptions during the losing streak. Some were even questioning whether he was the guy at quarterback for them.
Looking fresh and rested, he came out and dominated against the Jags. He completed 19 of 26 passes for 296 yards and three touchdowns. Oh yeah, and there was this remarkable throw to George Kittle under pressure.
In short, when Purdy has been rested this year he has looked phenomenal. The whole notion that two weeks of not playing in a game is going to be bad for him is really just a talking point.
Purdy has proven that rest is his friend, so don’t be surprised if he plays well in the divisional round in two weeks.
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