No. 5: Justin Skule vs. Chandler Jones
Left tackle Joe Staley suffered a broken finger in his return to action against the Seahawks from a leg injury. Having surgery to repair the finger, Staley will be out for at least a couple of weeks, meaning rookie swing tackle Justin Skule likely is the player to hold down Staley’s spot once again.
Skule has been an adequate backup this season, although it’s a stretch to say he’s played at an extremely high level.
That’s fine, especially for a late-drafted rookie. But he’s going to have yet another tall task on his plate in Week 11, as the Cardinals’ top edge rusher, Chandler Jones, will find himself on Skule’s weak side for much of the contest.
Jones, who has a league-high 11.5 sacks already this season, sacked Jimmy Garoppolo once back in Week 9 and also put two quarterback hits on him.
Assuming Arizona attempts to load the box in order to shut down the 49ers rushing attack, Jones versus Skule will be yet another matchup to watch, and one the Niners need to win regularly.