Kyle Shanahan grateful 49ers play Eagles in Week 13: 'I want to make sure our whole team is right there'
Kyle Shanahan grateful 49ers play Eagles in Week 13: 'I want to make sure our whole team is right there'
Kyle Shanahan grateful 49ers play Eagles in Week 13

It's clear the sting of last year's NFC Championship Game hasn't yet subsided for Kyle Shanahan and the 49ers.

Following last season's 31-7 shellacking at the hands of the Eagles, thanks in part to the 49ers needing to rely on Josh Johnson and, eventually, Christian McCaffrey under center due to injuries to Brock Purdy and Johnson, San Francisco wants to run it back with the Eagles.

Lucky for Shanahan and his team, however, they get to wait until Week 13 to do so. Brock Purdy is recovering from a UCL repair, and the team is optimistic it will have him back by that time. According to Shanahan, that makes this matchup more exciting.

"I am glad we’re not playing Philly Week 1," Shanahan said, per David Lombardi. "I want to play them at a better time. I want to make sure our whole team is right there. ... We feel like we didn’t get to do it last time, and I’m ready to go back again."

The 49ers finished 13-4 last season, second-best in the NFC behind the 14-3 Eagles. However, Purdy's elbow injury against the Eagles took what was expected to be a battle of conference titans and instead turned it into a laugher.

MORE: Why Lions were chosen to face Chiefs in NFL kickoff game Week 1

Since then, several 49ers have bemoaned the final result, with Deebo Samuel saying just last week his "most hated team is the Eagles right now," per Complex Sports. Samuel added: "We lost because we played with 10 people."

Brandon Aiyuk called the Eagles "extremely lucky" back in February, per Bleacher Report, while McCaffrey referred to the struggles as being like "fighting with one arm," per 49ers Web Zone.

Although Shanahan is undoubtedly compelled to be slightly more measured in his evaluation, it's clear he felt the loss in the NFCCG was more than slightly because of the QB situation.

Brock Purdy return timeline

Purdy had partial UCL reconstruction in March, and he's expected to be about four months out from a return. That would put him right up against September.

The 49ers are hoping he'll be able to start throwing in June and join the team, but ultimately it will be up to how his body continues to recover from the surgery. With that being said, Shanahan does expect him back by training camp.

Kyle Shanahan says that barring setbacks, the 49ers expect Brock Purdy back by training camp. Purdy has already been making throwing motions with a towel — not yet with a ball (that’s expected in June)

— David Lombardi (@LombardiHimself) May 11, 2023

As of now, it's fair to call Purdy questionable for Week 1 for the 49ers. Forearm surgery is a tricky thing, so it will depend on how his body responds to throwing again.

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49ers QB depth chart

Jimmy Garoppolo is officially out in San Francisco, as he has abandoned the Bay Area for the desert in Vegas.

Trey Lance, Sam Darnold, and Brandon Allen make up the 49ers QB depth chart until Purdy returns. It goes without saying this situation is extremely fluid. Lance may or may not be on the team come August or September, as the 2021 third overall pick is now back after fracturing his ankle against the Seahawks in Week 2. Ultimately, 2022's Mr. Irrelevant Purdy came in and seemingly won the job.

Darnold has more of the markers of a placeholder QB, whereas Lance could well force the team to make a decision. Here's a look at how the depth chart projects as of May:

Position Player
QB1 Brock Purdy
QB2 Trey Lance
QB3 Sam Darnold
QB4 Brandon Allen

The 49ers getting both Darnold and Allen indicates they could be shopping Lance. Shanahan sang the praises of Lance without committing to him moving forward.

"We did expect Trey Lance [to be the man for a long time] and I think that he still can be," he told reporters at the Dwight Clark Legacy Series Event, per Yahoo. "You also don’t expect the last pick in the draft to come in and play at [Purdy's] level. [Lance] missed that opportunity and Brock came in and did. I truly think Trey can go in and do that, but Brock’s already done it and that’s a very good thing for us to have."

Obviously the 49ers feel they're in a decent place for Week 1, but Week 13 is going to be circled on everyone's calendar. With the team back and healthy, perhaps 49ers vs. Eagles can be the powerhouse matchup it's meant to be.

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