It was just a little over a year ago the NFL world was introduced to Brock Purdy. The last pick of the 2022 NFL Draft has gone from "Mr. Irrelevant" to a potential MVP candidate since then, helping lead the 49ers to a 10-3 record this season. The Purdy story is made sweeter for Iowans who followed his career at Iowa State, where he led the Cyclones for four seasons.

Could a Brock Purdy-esque story be happening for another NFL quarterback with Iowa connections? Time will tell. This week, Max Duggan of the Los Angeles Chargers was elevated from the practice squad to the active roster. Following a season-ending injury to incumbent starter Justin Herbert during the Chargers' matchup against the Denver Broncos, backup quarterback Easton Stick saw playing time last week in the Chargers' 24-7 loss.

A Council Bluffs native who once shined at Lewis Central High SchoolMax Duggan was drafted in the 7th round of the 2023 NFL Draft in April, and has since spent the entirety of his Chargers career on the practice squad. The Chargers are not used to quarterback futility, with Philip Rivers never missing a start from 2006 to 2020.

With Herbert on ice until next season, however, shaky play from Easton Stick could result in Duggan being inserted into one of the Chargers' final four regular season games.

There's one other element to consider: Chargers head coach Brandon Staley has been on the proverbial hot seat for a while now. Staley has amassed a 24-24 record over two-and-a-half-seasons with the Chargers (including one playoff loss), and Los Angeles has been a perennially underperforming team since he took over, given the wealth of talent they have on their roster.

Photo Credit: Michael Zagaris, Getty Images
Photo Credit: Michael Zagaris, Getty Images

About Duggan: he led the TCU Horned Frogs all the way to the mountaintop. Although Georgia mollywhopped TCU by a score of 65-7, Duggan's leadership, big-moment poise, and commendable stats made him a bit of a wild-card selection in this year's draft. He ended up being selected by the Chargers with the 239th pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.

Duggan's performance during the 2022 college football season was good enough for him to be nominated as a Heisman Trophy finalistHis stats were strong across all major categories: he completed 64.9% of his passes for 3,321 yards, 30 touchdowns and only four interceptions. He also rushed for a touch over 400 yards, good enough for six touchdowns for his senior year.

A combination of inconsistent play from the also-unproven Stick and a coach desperate to save his job as the Chargers have a 5-8 record going into a Thursday night matchup against their division rival Las Vegas Raiders, and Duggan could very realistically see some action over the next month. Time will tell for the Council Bluffs native.

Views from the Hawkeyes/Badgers Football Game on 10-14-23

The Iowa Hawkeyes took on the Wisconsin Badgers on October 14th, 2023 in Madison, WI, and won by a score of 15-6 against a heavily favored home team.

Gallery Credit: Steve Pulaski

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