The fate which befell the 49ers in the NFC Championship is not likely one to be suffered again.
On Monday, the NFL approved a bylaw which will allow teams to activate a third quarterback without utilizing a game day roster spot.
It’s a rule change that was borne out of the Brock Purdy-Josh Johnson disaster in Philadelphia last January. Purdy tore his ulnar collateral ligament in the first quarter and was replaced by Johnson, who was concussed not long after. Purdy, who was clearly unable to throw, was put back into the game, leaving us with the so-called “Brock Purdy rule.”
If a similar situation plays out again, there will at least be the option to put a person capable of throwing the ball in at quarterback.
That player can only be elevated during the game if the other two quarterbacks, “are not able to participate in the game due to injury or disqualification.”
A caveat to the rule is that if either player is cleared to return, the emergency quarterback, “must be removed from the game.”
It’s hard to say that the 49ers would have fared much better against the Eagles if they had the option to activate a third quarterback (who would have been their fifth-string option on the season), but they would have at least had the theoretical option to throw the football.
San Francisco begins its first period of organized team activities (OTAs) this week and will open practice to media on Tuesday, giving viewers their first glance of Trey Lance since he fractured his fibula.