Training camp and the pre-season tend to be interesting spectacles in terms of how fans go about things. On one hand, after a long drought of football & the excitement that comes along with a new batch of players, most of us are amped up to see what the upcoming season will look like. There’s a lot of interest in the analysis of training camp practices, as well as the preseason games - and sometimes there’s a sense of disappointment that comes along with not seeing enough of the more intriguing players. Look no further than Jimmy Garoppolo and Jerick McKinnon on offense, and Fred Warner and Richard Sherman on defense. All of these guys figure to be important pieces of the 2018 49ers, but there just seems to never be enough to read about them, which can be, understandably, pretty frustrating.
On the other hand, somewhere deep inside, below the layers of fandom and homerism, most people have an innate understanding that the key to a successful pre-season is getting through it without incurring significant injuries. Obviously, it’s a rarity for any team to escape the offseason completely healthy, which creates an odd dissonance among fans - we want to see MORE of our favorite players, but we simultaneously want them bubble wrapped to preserve their health.
The injured list for the 49ers thus far, knock on wood, has been extremely inconvenient, but nothing too serious. Perhaps the most important positional battle on the offensive side of the ball (right guard) has been derailed entirely by injuries - Joshua Garnett finally returned to practice yesterday, and Jonathan Cooper remains out. Our shiny new offensive weapon, Jerick McKinnon, escaped a major injury scare with a nagging, but manageable, injury that should clear up before the season begins. Richard Sherman, our major free agent signing and assumed top corner, also returned to practice yesterday. Fred Warner, Jeremiah Attaochu, and Trent Taylor also returned to practice Sunday, after missing the Cowboys game - and there’s no confirmation as of yet that’ll we’ll see them for the Texans, nor Solomon Thomas who is out with a concussion.
All of these minor injuries piling up give me a oddest pause. On one hand, I’m unbelievably frustrated that these important pieces of the team continue to sit out. I’m ready to see what the offensive line can be like. I’m ready to see how the secondary looks, or how the front seven has been bolstered. But, on the other hand, it is a collection of minor injuries in the preseason. Thankfully none of these have been any more serious than they are. Ahem, knock on wood, again.
On McGlinchey’s first taste of professional football | Branch, SF Gate