49ers say QB Brock Purdy (elbow) is 'cleared and ready to go'

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy isn't quite all the way back from right elbow surgery yet, but he's well on his way, according to general manager John Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan.

As the Niners reported for training camp Tuesday, Lynch and Shanahan revealed that Purdy, who had surgery to repair the torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow March 10, has been cleared to participate in practice when the team begins on-field work Wednesday.

"Brock is cleared and ready to go," Lynch said. "Having said that, we're sticking and we're adhering to a plan that's been put in place for some time."

That plan means Purdy will follow a pitch count that includes two days of throwing and one day off. Purdy threw in front of Shanahan, Lynch and the Niners medical team Tuesday with an increased workload, so he will not practice Wednesday. He will participate Thursday and Friday, according to Shanahan.

When Purdy does return, Shanahan said he will get the bulk of his reps with the starting offense, a decision that comes as no surprise as Shanahan and Lynch said repeatedly throughout the offseason Purdy would be the "leader in the clubhouse" to start when healthy.

"He will [be with the starters] when he's out there," Shanahan said. "The throwing plan's a little different. We're never going to have him go three days in a row."

While the Niners celebrated Purdy's return Tuesday, they are still working to get another of their most important players back in the building. Lynch and his staff have been in negotiations with defensive end Nick Bosa's representatives in an effort to get a lucrative contract extension done.

Until that deal is complete, Bosa is unlikely to report for camp or participate in practice, Lynch said. Shanahan said he would "be surprised" if Bosa practiced before signing a new deal.

"I would expect he's not here to start off," Lynch said. "We're working, we're having really good communication with [Bosa's agent] Brian Ayrault. ... We're working diligently to try to come to an agreement."

The team's hope is that Purdy's ramp-up period will last for about two weeks before he's able to then practice fully for three consecutive days. That would put Purdy on pace to be fully cleared without a pitch count around the time the Niners join the Raiders for joint practices in Las Vegas on Aug. 10 and 11.

"I haven't looked that far past [right now]," Shanahan said. "We won't change that until that happens, and as long as it keeps staying on the course then we'll eventually go all the days."

In the meantime, the Niners will follow a plan with their other quarterbacks similar to what they did in the offseason program, with Trey Lance and Sam Darnold alternating reps with the starting offense on days Purdy is not practicing, then mixing in behind him along with veteran Brandon Allen on days Purdy is.

Shanahan said he'll aim to get Lance and Darnold an even number of reps throughout camp while also working in Allen, which could make for a difficult juggling act.

"There's more musical chairs with just one guy not always there and taking some days off," Shanahan said. "I was trying to be safe that we have still a couple weeks before Brock came back. So, the thought was always that we would just keep it going. The same with Trey and Sam, but I also was ready that this could happen. The fact that this did happen is good, but Brandon came on and did a really good job in OTAs. ... What makes it a little bit harder, how to fit in the fourth guy, but he earned that and so that's what we're going to have to figure out as a staff with reps and everything."

Bosa is the NFL's reigning Defensive Player of the Year after posting 18.5 sacks in 2022. Throughout the offseason, Bosa and the Niners expressed confidence a deal would get done either just before training camp or soon after it starts.

But Bosa has a strong case to become the league's highest-paid defensive player, which raises the question of just how high those numbers can go.

"I think the challenges talking about a real special player talking about one of the better players in the league, you could argue that could simplify things, but I think at times it's just finding that sweet spot," Lynch said. "And we're in the right spot and we're committed to working towards that."

For now, there's no timeline when Bosa is expected to sign, but the Niners have gotten similar big-money deals done with other star players such as tight end George Kittle, linebacker Fred Warner and receiver Deebo Samuel around this same time in recent years. And though there's no official deadline to strike a deal, the Niners won't practice in full pads until Sunday, which gives them some extra time before the real work begins.

"They've always done a great job of getting that kind of stuff done with guys when their time is up for an extension, and I know they will with him," Warner said. "If there was one guy I wasn't worried about being in shape for training camp, I think it would be Nick Bosa."