John Lynch says Aaron Lynch has had a productive week of practicing, but neglected to tip his hand as to whether or not the defensive end would play in Week 2 against the Seattle Seahawks. He was absent from the San Francisco 49ers’ season opener against the Carolina Panthers, and he was definitely missed.
Lynch is the best pass-rusher on the team, and until I see otherwise in actual regular season games, I can’t be swayed otherwise. He’s aggressive, he has a nose for the ball, and he’s always produced. Lynch has occasionally drawn criticisms for his weight and effort, and those are serious issues if they were, in fact, actual issues.
But I still see no reason for him to honestly be inactive against the Panthers. The 49ers say they wanted some extra depth on the interior of the defensive line, but it feels to me like they’re trying to force something with the younger defensive ends.
I don’t blame them for that, but there’s nothing wrong with your first-round pick starting out a little slowly. Lynch is on the roster because he is the better pass-rusher right now. Rotating Solomon Thomas off the field an extra five or six times a game isn’t going to stunt his growth. It’s not going to shatter his confidence. It’s not going to somehow ruin the interior of the line.
It’s just something that the 49ers need to do. There’s no reason for Lynch to be inactive. At that rate, the 49ers might as well release him. Maybe he hasn’t reached his full potential yet, but he’s shown plenty to earn the benefit of the doubt, even with a new head coach and defensive coordinator.
Thomas should be a starting defensive end sooner rather than later. But against a quarterback like Russell Wilson, Lynch has to be in the game, no question. What do all of you think?