Brock Purdy returns to the lineup for the 49ers, and looks sharp in limited action

The San Francisco 49ers didn’t play Brock Purdy much on Saturday night, but that didn’t matter. Just seeing him back in the lineup was another milestone to check off the list before the regular season as he comes back from elbow surgery.

Purdy played his first snaps of the preseason against the Denver Broncos and looked like, well, Purdy from his fantastic run late last season.

Purdy got the ball to his playmakers and let them work. That included a 25-yard gain to Deebo Samuel.

That’s all the 49ers want Purdy to do. He needs to run the offense and find the open receiver. The plan works because practically all of his receivers are elite. Purdy was four of five for 65 yards before taking a seat on Saturday. Purdy showed off his mobility too, though that wasn’t in question as he recovered this offseason.

Sam Darnold, not Trey Lance, came in as the 49ers’ second quarterback. That was notable after Lance struggled during his start in the 49ers’ preseason opener.

Just seeing Purdy play at all this preseason is a positive for the 49ers, who couldn’t have been sure for portions of the offseason how he’d recover from UCL surgery in his throwing arm, which he injured in the NFC championship game. Even better for the 49ers, Purdy looked like his usual self, running Kyle Shanahan’s offense exactly as the coach wants it. There was a reason there has been little talk of a quarterback competition in 49ers camp.

Purdy looks like he’s ready for the regular season, and that’s great news for the 49ers.

Brock Purdy started for the San Francisco 49ers in Saturday's preseason game. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Brock Purdy started for the San Francisco 49ers in Saturday’s preseason game. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)