Jaylon Moore, you’re up.
Kyle’s update, 11:12 a.m.: ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported McGlinchey has a torn quad and will miss the remainder of the season. This is a brutal blow as the 49ers picked up McGlinchey’s 2022 option. Additionally, they must prepare Moore for his potential future at right tackle. Initially, the team had hoped Moore would develop as a guard long-term. They don’t have that luxury anymore.
49ers right tackle Mike McGlinchey exited Sunday’s game against the Cardinals after just 18 snaps. McGlinchey was ruled out for the game with a knee injury and didn’t return. There’s cause for concern that McGlinchey’s injury is serious.
During his postgame press conference, 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan said “I don’t” when asked whether he knows how serious McGlinchey’s injury is. It’s never a good sign when a player is ruled out from the game right away.
McGlinchey, for my money, was having his best season to date. Last season, per Sports Info Solutions, McGlinchey had 37 blown blocks, including 28 against the pass. In addition, his blown block rate was 2.4. This season, McGlinchey had only ten blown blocks, with seven coming against the pass and a blown block rate of 2.4.
Sports Info Solutions has McGlinchey for allowing one sack in 2021. He’s allowed 6, 7, and 7 in each of his first three seasons. McGlinchey’s replacement, Tom Compton, allowed two sacks against the Cardinals.
Shanahan has said earlier this season that Compton is somewhat of a jack-of-all-trades who can help the 49ers at multiple positions. You can’t give someone credit for being versatile when they play multiple positions but aren’t good at both.
McGlinchey hadn’t missed a snap all season before his injury. Shanahan speaks Monday at 3:30 p.m. PT, so we’ll have a better idea about the severity of his injury then.
After the game, Shanahan said Compton went in over rookie Jaylon Moore because Moore had been practicing on the left side. But, Shanahan said, “yes, it’s something we will consider” when asked if the 49ers would move Moore to the right side if McGlinchey’s injury is long-term.
I don’t fault Shanahan for putting a player in a game at a position where he hasn’t practiced. However, the last thing you want to do is cross-train a player at multiple positions. He’ll never have an opportunity to get better if he has to learn multiple jobs.
The question becomes will three practices be enough for Moore to get comfortable? That’s a big ask. The good news is Moore played right tackle during the Senior Bowl. Moore also filled in at right tackle during his college career at Western Michigan in 2019 when the team suffered injuries. So, the position isn’t completely brand new for him. It will just take an adjustment period.
This season, Moore has played 70 snaps for the 49ers and only missed one block, per Sports Info Solutions. Before the season, Joe Staley had this to say about Moore:
“I think right now, watching the film that I saw because he was only getting reps at tackle, he looks like a natural tackle because of the movement skills and the stuff you really can’t teach.”
It’ll come down to whether the coaching staff is willing to let Moore play through mistakes and learn on the fly. Based on what we saw Sunday, it’s difficult to imagine him playing worse than Compton.