SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — Brock Purdy learned about the difficulties of playing on a short turnaround for a Thursday night game in just his second career start last season.
The typical two days of installation of the game-plan are packed into one, practices are replaced by walkthroughs and there is little time for rest.
“The preparation is just, it’s more intense for both teams,” Purdy said Tuesday. "You don’t get four or five days of preparation to lengthen everything out. You have two days to put it all together and roll.”
The process for Purdy headed into Thursday night's home opener against the New York Giants is a bit easier than what he went through last season at Seattle when he didn't know if he'd even be able to play because of a broken rib until just before the game started.
“Last year the main focus was ‘Will I be able to throw come Thursday?' Obviously, I didn’t throw a ball for three days,” he said. "So now it’s like, all right, now I can hone into the plays, the details of the operations of the offense, all that stuff. Not worrying about the broken rib.”
That performance through an injury when Purdy went 17 for 25 for 217 yards and two TDs in a key division win helped establish Purdy as the Niners No. 1 quarterback.
He has only built from there and comes into this week's game having won all 10 games he has played when he has thrown at least 10 passes. His only loss as a starter in the NFL came in the NFC title game when he injured his elbow on the first drive and couldn't throw the ball past the line of scrimmage after returning in the second half.
Coach Kyle Shanahan said he didn't need to see Purdy play through the injury in Seattle to have confidence in him, saying the way Purdy handled himself that entire week just reinforced what he knew.
“That’s what was cool talking to him that whole week because he is not a guy who just tells you what you want to hear, like, ‘Yes coach, I’ll be ready. I’m fine.’ And then they get to the game and they’re not ready,” Shanahan said. "Brock was honest with us all week and I knew there was times he didn’t think he’d be able to and he was going to be honest with us. But when it got close to kick off, he was like, ‘Hey, I think I could do this. Let me try.’ Then he tried. As the first quarter went, he gained confidence and so did we as it went.”
The Niners' confidence in Purdy has only grown since that night in Seattle as he continues to produce at an extremely efficient rate — even after returning from offseason elbow surgery.
Purdy has completed 66.7% of his passes so far this season, with two TDs, no turnovers and an average of 7.9 yards per attempt.
An offense that was performing well last season under Jimmy Garoppolo has been even better under Purdy, scoring at least 30 points in eight of the 10 games when he has been healthy.
Shanahan didn't hold back on what he asked Purdy to do as a rookie last year and nothing major has changed early this season.
“He knows that I can handle what he’s had with Jimmy the last couple years and what we did last year,” Purdy said. "Nothing really changed. And so that’s really how it’s been this year. There hasn’t been a drastic change of, ‘All right, we’re going to add more to his plate since he’s playing more or anything like that.’ It’s been about the same. That’s how this offense has rolled and that’s how we’ve done it.”
NOTES: The Niners signed CB Anthony Brown to a one-year deal after placing Samuel Womack on IR last week. Brown played seven seasons with the Cowboys before going down with an injured Achilles tendon last season. ... WR Brandon Aiyuk (shoulder) and CB Ambry Thomas (knee) were both listed as limited for practice Tuesday.
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Josh Dubow, The Associated Press