The 49ers’ season ended Sunday with an ugly 31-7 loss to the Eagles in an NFC Championship Game that featured injuries to San Francisco’s two active quarterbacks.
First, Brock Purdy suffered an elbow injury when he was sacked by Haason Reddick on the 49ers’ first possession. Then Josh Johnson, Purdy’s backup and the 49ers’ fourth quarterback used this season, smacked his head on the Lincoln Financial Field turf in the third quarter and was ruled out with a concussion.
Purdy returned to the game but it was obvious he could not throw very far, and the 49ers were forced to run the ball almost exclusively, further harming their comeback effort, which never came close.
Here’s what Kyle Shanahan and his team had to say after the loss.
On what to do after QB injury:
We have an emergency package, but usually hoping you can end the game with him and stuff, so we put our quarterback in there just so we could at least run our normal run game.
On his team’s response to Purdy being hurt:
I don’t think we were numb. I mean, guys were up for the challenge, you know. I thought our defense was playing real well and we felt Josh was going to go in there and execute our plan and give us a chance.
On the mood in the locker room:
Guys are pretty down in there. We were excited for today and we really wanted an opportunity to play that team and I thought they played great. They did good things, but you know, we wish we had a little bit better opportunity than we did.
On the game:
It was a tough one, some tough circumstances and we should have done a few things better but really proud of the group in there.
On not challenging the Smith catch:
I was going to throw it anyway, just hoping, but it looked like he caught it (on the initial replay he saw).
On Purdy post-injury:
He didn’t lobby much because he went and kept throwing and realized he couldn’t.
On the defense:
I think the penalties really got to our defense. I think a number of them were self-inflicted that we got to do better on. A few of them, you know, I’ll see how it is when I see the tape. … They were out there pretty much alone in the second half.
On having Kroft block Reddick on the play that injured Purdy:
It’s a tough block, but all play actions are tight ends vs. edge rushers. They had a number of those on us today too.
On if he thought Mason was blocked into Kern:
That’s what I thought but you know, I’m not standing right in front of it like (the official) is, so he should have a better view.
On if he was set to play QB:
Yeah, we had some plays up that were ready to go.
On the message:
Just be ready to go and it was a specific package of plays.
On Purdy injury:
You never want to see any of your teammates get hurt, let alone obviously the quarterback position, it’s tough. And you’re never out of the fight, though, and we believed it, and it just didn’t turn out our way. We got beaten and wish we had another shot at it, as everybody would.
On the game:
It’s disappointing and we wanted to be playing and have a shot to play in the Super Bowl but at the same time, I’m unbelievably grateful for the way this team took me in in the middle of the year. It feels like a family in there from the coaches and the ownership to the players, I’m grateful for everyone in that locker room.
On what he might have been thinking if he got in at QB:
I don’t know if I would have had any thoughts, just kind of going.
On his TD sparking belief:
You’re never out of the fight in this league, you know. The ball can bounce your way at any point. You’ve seen a pick-six, a special-teams touchdown, there’s a bunch of things that can happen. So, you know, nobody believed we couldn’t win.
On the injuries:
Losing your starting quarterback who’s a third-string rookie to your fourth-string quarterback who was doing everything he could, gets hurt right away in the third quarter, you can only run the ball, it’s tough.
On Purdy returning:
He was just jacked to be able to be out there. He knew he was like ‘Hey, I’m not going to be able to throw the ball at all, so might as well have fun.’
On the adjustments when Purdy came back in:
As soon as Purdy came back in, they put six guys on the line of scrimmage, they loaded the box and saw we can’t do any play actions or anything off it, so we just kind of had to run into it.
On his teammates:
I’m just pumped that my team didn’t quit. They’re fighting and whether it was an actual fight or whether they’re doing everything we can to be violent, I love it.
On belief in Johnson:
Obviously he’s a capable quarterback. He’s been in the league for a long time, he’s been on this team before in 2020. He knows our offense. I believe in all my teammates, if they get an opportunity, they’re going to take advantage of it. I mean, look at Brock Purdy, what he did for the last eight weeks. I don’t doubt in Josh.
On his goals:
My goal in life is to win the Super Bowl. I’m going to do everything I can to (do that). Coach Shanahan’s goal is to win a Super Bowl. We’ve been close multiple times, and of course, we haven’t been able to do that. So I still have confidence in this team. We have players all over the field, talent all over the field.
On his injury:
My arm just felt like it stretched out, just felt like a lot of just shocks all over from my elbow down to my wrist, front and back. Just pain, really, all over.
I couldn’t throw anything probably over 10 yards, five yards, so that’s why we just had some screens, that was really our only option when I went back in.
On his response:
More sad for those guys than anything because they deserve to go and win the whole thing. So when that happened, I’m just more frustrated with that.
On sideline conversation with Shanahan:
I told him right there that if we run a play, I can’t throw it deep. Just for this play, at least, it’s hurting really bad.
As a rookie, you can say you’ve got your whole career, but man, these guys have told me it’s rare to get here. It’s hard, it’s not easy. So it’s more for those guys — I feel for those guys more than anything.
On the play where he was injured:
I was literally ripping it to BA. He was coming open and that was going to be a big play and then yeah, he just came from my blind side at the time.
On this team in the injuries:
This is the best group I’ve been around. When stuff like that happens and it’s pretty much out of your control, it doesn’t make it any easier by any means but you kind of just are proud that we fought.
On getting cleated on the sideline:
That was kind of a sign of a rough day when you get hurt on the sideline. I got a cleat an inch or two into my leg. So that hurt. I was fighting through, though. I don’t think it affected me too much.
On Brock Purdy:
I’ve always had a ton of respect for him. After the Super Bowl, I felt the same way about Staley and a lot of guys on the o-line who you kind of have an idea that they’re not going to get another shot at it.
I had confidence in him to make the right reads and all that stuff. I think we were all still pretty confident. We were confident as a defense. I mean, the guy hasn’t played in probably multiple years, especially in the NFC Championship against one of the best pass rushers in the league.
On the loss:
When you win for so long, you forget how losing feels … Self-inflicted wounds on defense all the way through. However you want to draw it up or talk about it, it just wasn’t our day.
He doesn’t have anything to be sad about. He’s the reason we even got to this game. When Jimmy went down against the Dolphins, we didn’t know what our season was going to be, he came in and did a heck of a job.
On response after Purdy was injured:
We had complete confidence that we could win the game however we needed to, regardless of what everybody else probably was watching.
On the defense:
We finished as the best. Top defense in the league. Unfortunately, we couldn’t do enough today to give our team a chance to win. So it sucks but this was a special group.
On DC DeMeco Ryans:
I hadn’t thought about it up to this point because obviously we think we’re gonna win it all. But you know, seeing him was emotional. It was the first time it kind of hit me. This was the last one with him and we came into this team together. I owe everything to him. He’s the reason I’m the player I am today. He’s fully deserving to go on and be a head coach.
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