Trey Lance watched from the sideline as Brock Purdy became an unsung hero for the San Francisco 49ers. While both quarterbacks will be battling it out to become the 49ers’ starting QB, Lance had nothing but praise for Purdy’s rookie performance.

Lance started the year as the 49ers’ starting quarterback before suffering a season-ending ankle injury. Purdy came in – after a foot injury to backup Jimmy Garoppolo – and led San Francisco to the NFC Championship. With Garoppolo a free agent, Lance and Purdy will compete to be next year’s starting quarterback. But even when in competition, Lance still gave major props to Purdy’s temperament throughout the season, via KNBR.

“We can talk about throws all day. He can make every throw in the world. But how he handled himself, the way he inserted himself in the offense. The way he was treating other people, he treated practice squad guys the same way he treated Nick Bosa,” Lance said on what made Purdy special. “That says a lot about him as a person.

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Brock Purdy started five games for the 49ers during the regular season. San Francisco went a perfect 5-0 as Purdy threw for 1,374 yards, 13 touchdowns and four interceptions. While he suffered a brutal injury in the NFC Championship, Purdy still helped guide the 49ers to an improbable run.

Still, the 49ers traded up to select Trey Lance third overall in the 2021 NFL Draft. Before his injury he was San Francisco’s starter and widely viewed as the future of the franchise.

Lance knows that he must now re-earn his starting quarterback spot. But if he has to compete, he’s glad it’s against Purdy.