SANTA CLARA – Cut from 49ers camp a year ago, Colton McKievitz is now essential as a “starting right tackle.”
That’s the reason coach Kyle Shanahan used Sunday to explain why McKevitz joined nearly 20 frontline players in a 17-7 preseason win over Minnesota.
What about Mike McGlinchey’s recovery time from the knee issue that sidelined him from last week’s preseason opener against Green Bay?
“He says he’s not healthy right now,” Shanahan said at a media conference. “We’ll test him next week and see how he goes.”
As such, Mackiewitz will begin Thursday’s preseason in Houston with most of the projected lineup for Chicago’s Sept. 11 season opener, including quarterback Trey Lance.
At that point, McGlinchey could resume his starting right tackle role until his knee cooperates, along with a quadriceps repair that sidelined him after midway through last season.
Mackiewitz, a 2020 fifth-round pick who was shocked by being cut last year, said last week how “I learned how urgent it is to learn and adapt and improve quickly in this league, or you’ll find your way out sooner than you think.”
He spent the season on the practice squad before making an emergency start in place of left tackle Trent Williams in the regular season finale at Los Angeles.
If that’s not the 49ers’ biggest health crisis, it resides among their injured defensive backs. Expected to return to practice Monday are Emmanuel Moseley (damage), Donta Johnson (ribs) and possibly Ambry Thomas (knee). Shanahan said cornerback Charvarius Ward (groin) should return next week after a preseason layoff, but there was no update on safety Jimmy Ward, who pulled a hamstring a week ago.
Others expected to return to practice are defensive end Eric Armstead (knee), linebacker Curtis Robinson (groin), offensive lineman Jaylon Moore (foot) and tight end Charlie Warner (adductor).
Injuries in Saturday’s game included wide receiver Austin Mack (hamstring, out a few weeks) and offensive tackle Sam Schluter (knee ligament; day-to-day).
Without Lance playing, the 49ers deployed Nate Sudfeld and Brock Purdy in the quarterback rotation. Shanahan’s evaluation of each was positive.
On Sudfeld: “Nate did a good job, so I don’t think[the conservative passes]were there at all. … You want him to make the exact play you’re calling, based on how they’re seeing the coverage and how the pass rush is, people beating man coverage and getting the ball to the right spot at the right time. of the game. “So I thought Nate had a good camp. Like the other quarterbacks, nobody’s perfect, but he’s trying to do it every game.”
On Purdy, who was finally drafted No. 262 after four years at Iowa State: “Brock was a four-year starter in the Big Ten and I think that’s not talked about enough, how much experience that has for a guy. For him to have that many games under his belt, this is a lot of football and I know it’s college football, but that’s still a lot of pressure from freshman to senior year. So Brock has played a lot of football and he’s come here and he hasn’t let the big lights or being around NFL players change that. He was the kind of guy you saw on tape and that gave him a chance to improve.
Guards Aaron Banks and Spencer Burford were the only Week 1 starters projected to tackle the Vikings’ defense, and they did so with mixed results.
“They both made some mistakes and then in the second quarter it was good to see them both come back and come back again,” Shanahan said.
Another young guard who had a good time: undrafted rookie Jason Poe.
“Every time he goes out there and gets the opportunities, he makes good plays. The plays that stick out to me are how physical he is on the edge when he pulls and things like that,” Shanahan said. “I think that sticks with the average fan, but he’s a competitive guy who goes hard every game He’s been doing that since he got here. And he’s given himself the opportunity to finally be in this conversation.