QB Notes: Purdy, Murray, Colts, Love, Howell

Brock Purdy‘s sensational start to his career doubles as a win for the 49ers‘ scouting department. Had the team not used the 2022 draft’s final selection on the Iowa State quarterback, it would have needed to fend off multiple other clubs in the UDFA chase. The Vikings were prepared to make an aggressive pursuit of Purdy in the post-draft signing period, Kevin Seifert of ESPN.com notes. Purdy said he was considering the Vikings, 49ers or Texans if he went undrafted.

Minnesota does not have a Kirk Cousins heir apparent lined up, though it did draft Jaren Hall this year, and has its longtime starter in a contract year. The Vikings also use a somewhat similar scheme compared to the 49ers, with the Sean McVayKyle Shanahan offenses derived from the Mike ShanahanGary Kubiak system. Purdy landing with Houston probably would not have been optimal, given the state of the organization at that point. Though, the Texans — who used Davis Mills and Kyle Allen as starters last year — would have presented by far the best chance for early playing time. Purdy’s seventh-round 49ers deal runs through 2025.

Here is the latest from the QB scene:

  • Kyler Murray is not yet on the Cardinals‘ active roster, being designated for return off the PUP list last week. But the Cardinals took Murray off their injury report Thursday. While that opened the door to a possible Saturday activation for Week 8, the team lists the two-time Pro Bowler as doubtful for the Ravens matchup. Jonathan Gannon has said the Cards have a ramp-up period in mind for Murray, who is 10 1/2 months removed from his ACL tear. Week 9 or Week 10 have surfaced as windows for Murray’s re-emergence. Though Murray must be activated by Nov. 8 in order to play this season, it will be interesting to see if the Cardinals start him immediately once he is activated or extend the final stretch of his recovery via more Joshua Dobbs starts.
  • Anthony Richardson is not expected to require a second surgery to repair his AC joint injury. The Colts quarterback underwent surgery this week, and Jim Irsay said no new issues emerged during the procedure. Dr. Neil ElAttrache performed the surgery in Los Angeles, per ESPN.com’s Stephen Holder. No timetable exists for Richardson’s return, per Irsay, but given the October operation, he should be ready for offseason work.
  • Aaron Rodgers‘ first Packers season resulted in a 6-10 record, marking a significant step back after Brett Favre guided them to the 2007 NFC championship game. Rodgers finished 11th in QBR in 2008, which preceded an eight-year streak of Packer playoff berths. Through six games, Jordan Love sits 17th in QBR but ranks last among qualified starters in completion percentage (57.5). Green Bay has been outscored 63-6 over its past four first halves. After the Packers saw considerable strides from Love in 2022, leading to the Rodgers divorce, Matt LaFleur indicated (via ESPN.com’s Rob Demovsky) the team’s confidence in the fourth-year QB is “not wavering one bit.” Love, who signed a half-measure extension this offseason to take the place of a fifth-year option, will almost definitely have this full season to prove himself. Barring a lackluster second half, should go into the offseason as the Packers’ 2024 starter.
  • Ron Rivera was a bit less emphatic when assessing Sam Howell‘s status. The fourth-year Washington HC said (via the Washington Post’s Nicki Jhabvala) he is committed to the 2022 fifth-round pick, but he “can’t predict the future.” Howell has shown flashes; he is also on pace to break the single-season record for sacks taken. David Carr‘s rookie year, with the expansion Texans, currently resides atop that list (76). Howell’s 40 through seven games lead the NFL by 12. Howell sits 25th in QBR. With Rivera’s job far less secure than LaFleur’s, it would not surprise if Jacoby Brissett saw time at some point. Though, the Commanders passed on pursuing upgrades this offseason out of a commitment to Howell, creating the perception of a long leash.
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