San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh met with the media on Monday (transcript), and naturally he got a couple questions about offensive tackle Anthony Davis. It appears nothing much has really changed.
How close is T Anthony Davis to coming back?
"We'll see as the week starts."
Any plans for him to practice this week?
I'm not inclined to get overly optimistic based on those comments. The 49ers release their first practice participation report of the week on Wednesday. Last week, Davis was listed as questionable, but considering he did not participate in practice the entire week, I think we could consider that questionable a doubtful at best. This week, I'm just hoping we see Davis get in some limited work, and make his questionable at least a little more questionable.
The 49ers offensive line has been having all sorts of issues this season. Arguably the most consistent player has been center Daniel Kilgore. Heading into training camp, most figured he was the biggest question mark. Of course, that was before Jonathan Martin became the temporary starting right tackle. Since then, Alex Boone has moved back into the lineup, and will hopefully continue to improve each week as he continues to get regular playing time. Joe Staley is off to a slow start, and Mike Iupati remains inconsistent.
The return of Anthony Davis doesn't guarantee anything, but it does getting the starting offensive line together and in a position to improve as a unit. In the meantime, it will feature a little bit of patchwork with Martin in at right tackle. I have seen suggestions of moving Joe Looney back in at right guard, and moving Alex Boone out to right tackle. Boone came into the league as a tackle, and did great work in a limited opportunity in place of Joe Staley last year.
There has been no indication he has gotten work at tackle, and given his extended holdout, I would be surprised if he got any such work anytime soon. I think the 49ers are simple prepared to ride out Anthony Davis's absence with the help of Jonathan Martin. I do think Martin was fairly solid early in Sunday's game, but he struggled late, with Willie Young thoroughly schooling him on a pair of sacks. Until Anthony Davis returns, it is back to the proverbial drawing board for Martin and company.