EDITOR'S NOTE - I managed to score jury duty today, so if anything comes up, feel free to use this as an open thread for breaking news of any sort. Thanks to the power of SBN 2.0 I've managed to pre-post the #2 ILB All-Time team poll for noon pacific. Other than that I'll be away from wireless until after 5pm.
Things along the offensive line certainly got a lot more interesting in the past couple of days. After hearing that Jonas Jennings was having surgery on a broken knuckle, we learned today that Adam Snyder is out with what sounds like a right ankle sprain. Thanks to sfgfan for throwing that one out below.
I use the headline "A rookie..." because there are a couple of options and no official word has been handed down as to which of the two will start. One option would be to plug in undrafted rookie Brian De La Puente at left guard. The other option is to move Tony Wragge over to left guard and plug in rookie Chilo Rachal at right guard.
We haven't heard a whole ton about De La Puente so I had a thought. Maiocco has been running his day after look at all 81 players for both the Raiders and Packers games. I'll post his comments on De La Puente and Rachal.
BRIAN DE LA PUENTE
60-de la Puente: Nice block on linebacker Edgerton Hartwell on Hill shovel pass to Clayton helped net 14 yards. . . . Got a lot of action at LG after Snyder left the game.
60-de la Puente: Nice work one-on-one vs. DT Daniel Muir to allow Smith to deliver 27-yard pass down the field. . . . Performed very well in run and pass games.
62-Rachal: Very solid job at RG after entering the game in the second quarter . . . Roughed up DT Derrick Gray in pass protection.
62-Rachal: Had some good plays, but there were some blemishes, too. . . Allowed QB pressure from Muir, who put good heat on Smith to lead to a third-down incompletion. . . . Missed a kick-out block on a 1-yard Clayton carry . . . Got low and opened the hole for Norris' 1-yard TD run . . . Got out front on screen pass to Clayton but he could not make the block on LB Abdul Hodge, who stopped the play for just 5 yards on third-and-8.
It's interesting how certain players will get a certain cache when it comes to the 53-man roster, simply because they were a draft pick. Now I'm not jumping onto any sort of De La Puente bandwagon. Rather I'm just intrigued by how this plays out for De La Puente. Does he end up on the practice squad, our 53-man roster, or signing somewhere else with a chance to get some serious playing time?
According to Mike Sando, the NFC West divisional blogger at ESPN, the 49ers have kept an average of 9 offensive linemen in the three years of Mike Nolan. Injury issues aside, the 49ers roster right now would probably include Joe Staley, Adam Snyder, Eric Heitmann, David Baas, Jonas Jennings, Tony Wragge, Chilo Rachal, Barry Sims and Cody Wallace. Guys like Joe Toledo, Chris Patrick and John Booker are all training camp fodder. So unless the 49ers decide to break camp with 10 offensive linemen, Brian De La Puente finds himself on the short end of the stick.
Due to the situation just described, I almost would prefer De La Puente get the start at left guard. Chilo Rachal is not going anywhere and will get a chance to develop. Since the starters are going into the third quarter (not sure where I read it, but I did read that somewhere), why not give De La Puente a chance to show what he can do? An educated decision is certainly a better decision. The first cut-down date is looming after this game and while I don't see De La Puente being in that first cut, it'd still be good to know what he's got.