Cardinals vs. SF 49ers: 3 biggest concerns for Kyle Shanahan in Week 1

Kyler Murray #1 of the Arizona Cardinals (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Kyler Murray #1 of the Arizona Cardinals (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /
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Daniel Brunskill, SF 49ers
Offensive lineman Daniel Brunskill #60 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images) /

No. 3: SF 49ers’ interior O-line makeup

One of the dominant themes from San Francisco’s 53-man roster creation was how the interior of the offensive line will pan out early.

Starting center Weston Richburg is starting the year on the physically unable-to-perform list while he recovers from a knee injury suffered last season, and he’ll be unavailable for the first six weeks. Richburg’s primary backup, Ben Garland, made the roster without issue, but he was dealing with an ankle injury. His status for Week 1 remains in doubt, and it’s possible the impromptu shifting of Daniel Brunskill from right guard to center is the alignment we’ll see in Week 1 while Garland continues to rehab.

Additionally, reserve lineman Tom Compton is expected to start at right guard.

Both Brunskill and Compton struggled in their respective fill-in roles during training camp, and one can fairly wonder if these issues carry over into the 49ers’ first game of the year.

The Cardinals don’t exactly boast the league’s most prolific pass rush as a team, compiling just 40 sacks last season. But they do boast one of the NFL’s most prolific pass-rushers, EDGE Chandler Jones, who finished No. 2 in the league last year with 19 sacks.

Defensive coordinator Vance Joseph will likely line Jones up on the inside, perhaps mixing in a variety of stunts and delayed rushes to take advantage of the Niners’ makeshift O-line.

And the last thing San Francisco would want is to start off with a four- or five-sack game on quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.