The San Francisco 49ers may have found their long-term answer at quarterback in an unexpected way in Brock Purdy last season, but they are going to have to get by without him to start the 2023 season. Purdy tore his UCL in the 49ers NFC Championship Game loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, meaning that Trey Lance and Sam Darnold will have to step up in Purdy's absence.

For the most part, many fans have expected Lance to get the ball under center with Purdy on the sidelines. He was, after all, the third overall draft pick of the 2021 NFL Draft, and was going to be the team's starter last season before suffering a season-ending ankle injury in Week 2 against the Seattle Seahawks. However, Darnold could challenge Lance for the job, and there are some folks on rival teams who even believe that Darnold will actually push Lance for meaningful snaps to start the season.

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“The Sam Darnold signing is really interesting to a lot of teams I’ve talked to. They believe that Darnold is going to push for meaningful snaps on this team, as early as Week 1. They believe that his major talent has gone largely untapped. Maybe the 49ers can bring something out of him.” – Jeremy Fowler, Sportscenter

This is certainly an interesting revelation, as it was expected that Lance would get a chance to prove himself to start the season with Purdy on the sidelines. However, the Niners want to see what they have in Darnold too, and it could lead to an unexpected position battle throughout training camp. So from out of nowhere, it seems like San Fran may have created a quarterback battle to start the 2023 season, making this a storyline to follow as training camp approaches.