Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Looney takes over at guard

With the contract holdout of guard Alex Boone well into the preseason, Joe Looney, has suddenly been thrust into the spotlight.

Looney, a 2012 4th round pick out of Wake Forest, appeared in four games last season, including most of a December game against St. Louis.

In that same game, Alex Boone switched from guard to left tackle after an injury to Joe Staley. Looney took over at right guard, where now, thanks to Boone’s holdout, he finds himself penciled in as the current starter.

For the 49ers, if Looney pans out into a solid starting right guard, then the payoff could be enormous.

Looney is scheduled to make about $3 million less in the last two years of his contract, which coincidently, expires at the same time as Boone’s deal does.

For now, Looney’s situation is a 50/50 road.

Should Boone and the 49ers come to some agreement, Looney could find himself back in the role as the reserve guard. Should Boone continue to holdout, or perhaps even be traded, then Looney could be the man at right guard.

Only time will tell, but in the meantime, right now, is Looney’s time to shine. As long as Boone continues to hold out, Looney will be the new starting guard for an offensive line that many football experts believe ranks as one of the very best in the NFL.

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