The 49ers can't afford to lose Brock Purdy, who was hit by a Cardinals defender on a rouging-the-passer penalty.
The San Francisco 49ers are in a bit of a dogfight with the 3-10 Arizona Cardinals, who have dominated the time of possession in Week 15 despite trailing 14-13 late in the second half.
With the Niners looking to extend their lead before the half, quarterback Brock Purdy dropped back on a 1st-and-10 play and hit fullback Kyle Juszczyk for 9 yards.
But that wasn't the big news about the play. Not at all.
After Purdy tossed the ball, a rushing Cardinals defender, linebacker Dennis Gardeck, hit the quarterback close to the head and neck. The play immediately drew a roughing-the-passer penalty, and Purdy went to the ground in clear pain.
Fortunately, Purdy managed to get up and off the field under his own power and went into the blue medical tent for further evaluation.
That led to backup quarterback Sam Darnold entering the game.
Brock Purdy returns from injury, leads 49ers to touchdown
Darnold managed to stay on the field for a couple of plays, tossing one incomplete pass and helping draw a penalty from Arizona.
But Purdy subsequently returned to a solid ovation from the mostly Niners-centric crowd at State Farm Stadium. According to the CBS Sports broadcast, it sounded as if the second-year signal-caller was dealing with a stinger and would be able to play based on pain tolerance.
Not long thereafter, Purdy found running back Christian McCaffrey for a 5-yard touchdown to make things 21-13 in favor of San Francisco.
Sounds like the 49ers dodged what could have been a massive bullet with regard to Purdy's injury.