Darnold won the backup job in summer camp competition with former No. 3 overall pick Trey Lance, who ended up getting Dallas instead of staying in San Francisco as a third-stringer. San Francisco is the third stop in Darnold’s career, which began in New York as the Jets’ third overall pick in the 2018 draft and continued with a failed revival in Carolina.
He has since operated in the shadows in San Francisco, dutifully operating Shanahan’s offense as a backup behind the highly touted Purdy. He could get his first chance to show he’s in a better place in San Francisco if Purdy can’t play Sunday.