The San Francisco 49ers lost a few critical players to injury this past season that they eventually couldn’t overcome. D.J. Jones proved to be a key loss in Super Bowl LIV as the Kansas City Chiefs had success on the ground early in the game, and late when the Niners needed a stop. Jones was the second biggest injury. First—and it wasn’t particularly close—was center Weston Richburg. I thought he was the best offensive linemen on the team. Kyle Shanahan said Richburg was having a great season and was playing like a top-five center, and the offensive line community on Twitter raved about Richburg. What Weston did in space as a run blocker, and 1-on-1 in pass protection allowed San Francisco to have so much success on offense this season.
NBC Sports Jennifer Lee Chan caught up with Richburg to find out when the center would be back to work for 2020. Richburg’s season was cut short in Week 14 after tearing his patellar tendon. According to the article, Richburg plans to spend the next couple of weeks at home in Texas with his family before heading back to the Bay Area, where he will behind rehabbing with the training staff. When asked when he’d return, Richburg said, “Should be back in training camp. I’ll miss the offseason stuff, but training camp should be a go.” Richburg is confident in the team’s direction. When asked about the job that the coaches and front office have done, Richburg responded, “It’s great. That’s what’s cool about this place, from top to bottom, everybody is real, genuine, and good. They are not blowing smoke; they are going to tell you how it is.”
One of the best parts about having access to the team is seeing how everyone interacts with each other on and off the field. One play, Shanahan will be screaming at Kendrick Bourne for messing up, and the next play everyone will be celebrating together after Bourne scored. That is consistent from the linebackers to the offensive line. Everyone is treated the same. When George Kittle messes up, you hear about it. When Richie James does something well, everyone celebrates it. That’s why this team is successful, and getting a talent like Richburg back healthy will only help.