No. 1: Interior O-line could still be an issue for SF 49ers
Starting center Weston Richburg is expected to start the regular season on the PUP list, putting him out of action for the first six weeks as he recovers from a serious knee injury suffered late last year.
If there’s good news, backup center Ben Garland didn’t start the year on any list even though he was dealing with a relatively serious ankle injury during training camp and missed the second half of the program while recovering. Yet it’s still unclear whether or not Garland will be ready to go in time for Week 1, and it wouldn’t be shocking if he was inactive for the first couple of weeks.
In camp, San Francisco slid presumed starting right guard Daniel Brunskill into an impromptu center role, allowing veteran guard Tom Compton to see first-team reps to Brunskill’s right.
Compton struggled here, but that didn’t prevent the 49ers from reworking Compton’s contract to pay him more like a backup, essentially securing his spot on the team:
Brunskill, too, struggled a bit as a fill-in center. And with reserve linemen Ross Reynolds and Dakoda Shepley also being waived, it’s not too hard to figure out the team’s offensive line interior could be a sizable question mark at least early during the regular season.
If there’s good news here, the Niners will be receiving reinforcements up front as time moves along, first with Garland coming back and eventually Richburg, prompting other roster moves San Francisco will have to make at a later time.
In Week 1, and perhaps later, the 49ers could look at this positional unit as a possible liability.