Cardinals don’t view 49ers QB Brock Purdy as backup

The San Francisco 49ers have won nine consecutive games but the last four wins have come without starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, who injured his foot. Instead, it is rookie Brock Purdy, who has thrown 10 touchdown passes and four interceptions in four starts, completing 66% of his passes.

As the Arizona Cardinals prepare to take on the Niners this weekend to end the season, they have high respect for Purdy.

“Brock is a starter. He’s no longer a backup,” Cardinals defensive coordinator Vance Joseph said Wednesday. “He’s played enough ball, he’s gotten enough snaps where you can see him as a starter.

“He’s playing really good football. He’s taking care of the football, he’s making plays. He’s playing at a high level for a young guy.”

He has looked anywhere from competent to solid in his four games. He has one of the league’s most talented teams around him, but it means he can play within himself.

“The quarterback is doing his job,” Joseph said. “He’s playing very well within their system, but he’s no longer a backup in my mind. He’s playing at a high level as a starter and they can win a lot of games with him.”

Joseph said the 49ers have immense talent around him, but they will try to make Purdy make plays himself on third down.

The 49ers are favored by two touchdowns in the finale, suggesting that Purdy should win his fifth straight start and lead the Niners to their 10th consecutive win.

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Story originally appeared on Cards Wire