Adding Sam Darnold Clouds San Francisco 49ers QB Situation

The quarterback issues for the San Francisco 49ers were well documented during the 2022 season, and they nearly overcame the extreme adversity.

It began early on with an injury to Trey Lance, who was expected to be the team’s franchise QB after they sacrificed valuable assets to acquire his draft rights. He has been mediocre in his limited playing time, but injuries have ravaged the first two years of his career, and he was replaced by Jimmy Garoppolo after a season-ending ankle ailment.

Adding Sam Darnold Further Confuses San Francisco 49ers QB Situation

The 49ers struggled to gain their footing in the early going of the season, but Garoppolo was rarely the problem. Things began clicking for the team in Week 8, and Jimmy G led San Francisco to four straight wins to close out the month of November.

Things looked like they were going to fall apart in Week 12 when Garoppolo went down with a season-ending leg injury, and the team was forced to play 7th round rookie Brock Purdy. But the storybook was just beginning, as Purdy and the 49ers didn’t lose again until the NFC Championship, when he was, perhaps unsurprisingly, injured in the first half.

San Francisco was lucky to have had the success that they did under Purdy, but it could cause a jumbled situation going into the off-season and next year.

Garoppolo is gone after agreeing to terms with the Raiders on Monday, alleviating some of the pressure in the quarterback room. But just hours later, the 49ers signed former 3rd overall pick Sam Darnold to a deal, presumably to be the team’s backup.

What Will 49ers Do With Their 3 QBs?

So then, who would the third string QB be? There is belief that the team is still going to ride with Lance given what they have invested in him and his small sample size of playing time, but would they really make Brock Purdy the third stringer after his 2022 performance?

Would they start Purdy and push Trey Lance all the way back to the 3rd spot? It is unlikely that they would demote such a highly-touted and expensive player without giving him more of a chance to prove himself. Then again, it is equally hard to believe that Darnold would accept a role as a third option when he would have plenty of suitors that would make him the backup, and perhaps even a couple where he’d have a fighting chance at the starting job.

Does San Francisco 49ers GM John Lynch have a trick up his sleeve? Or are we about to see the most intense quarterback battle in training camp history?

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