The San Francisco 49ers will are expected to start Daniel Brunkskill at right guard for the second game in a row, per NBC Sports Matt Maiocco. Mike Person is still battling some neck pain and will sit out Week 17’s game against the Seahawks. Head coach Kyle Shanahan spoke to reporters late Sunday afternoon and discussed the topic. Shanahan said that Person had earned the right to be the starter due to his work throughout the season, so when he’s healthy, Person will regain his spot.
Here is Shanahan on why Person was active:
“Just because Mike plays through a lot of things. He was willing to play through that. His neck has been bothering him on and off for a little bit. We thought it would bother him too much in the game that it would prohibit him from playing at a high level. We know it will help him to rest, but we also wanted to have him up in case of emergency if someone did get hurt. The fact that he does have center experience and can also play both of the guards, he was an important guy to have up.”
Here is what Shanahan said about Brunskill’s performance:
“I thought he stepped in and did very well. He had a huge challenge with him going against a very good D-Line and one of the best players in the league in [Los Angeles Rams DT Aaron] Donald, and he definitely got him a couple times, but he competed hard with him, he got him, and I thought he had a very impressive game.”
Circling back to who would start if both were healthy:
“Person has done enough this season so that we know that if Mike’s fully healthy that he is our starting right guard. He’s earned that throughout the year, but Mike hasn’t been fully healthy, and he hasn’t been for a little bit, and we respect the hell out of him for battling through all this stuff and still getting out there and playing, but we’ve got to make sure we don’t put Mike out there when he’s not at his best. Especially with Dan getting the experience he got at tackle, now he’s been able to come in and step up at guard, getting a fresh guy out there who’s healthy has helped the team. I know Mike will battle and be ready whenever need be. If his neck can heal up and allow him to practice, then we’ll get him out there right away, but right now, I don’t see that happening this week unless we see some drastic things change at practice.”
Aaron Donald got the best of Brunksill, but he does that to everyone. I thought Brunskill showed good recognition on a few stunts the Rams ran against him and overall competed at a high level. It’s still Person’s job, but Brunskill will be fine. The 49ers had plenty of success running behind Brunskill as well.