One of the more overlooked storylines of the 49ers’ offseason is the current state of their offensive line. A little over two weeks away from the NFL Draft, there are major questions about the three interior positions on the line.
There’s also the question of whether Mike McGlinchey is going to be able to return from a serious quad injury he sustained last season. On today’s Oh, Hey There! podcast, Javier Vega and Leo Luna think a tackle could be San Francisco’s draft future.
To hear the 49ers tell it, the offensive line is fine. Trent Williams is Trent Williams, Aaron Banks is going to step in for Laken Tomlinson, Alex Mack is going to be back, they’ll figure out right guard, and Mike McGlinchey is progressing nicely after his injury last season.
Then we saw this picture on McGlinchey’s Twitter feed, and people started to worry.
He doesn’t exactly look like a lot of right tackles in the NFL right now. Javi Vega was taken aback when he saw it.
“Is there a concern that Mike McGlinchey might not play this year? I think it’s a question we need to start asking, based on his current size. I know it’s April, that’s great. Remember, in 2020, he lost a whole bunch of weight and his play declined. He gained the weight back, looked much heavier in 2021, and was playing his best ball until he got hurt. Now he’s back down in weight because of the quad tear. I think the question needs to be asked: Are the Niners going to take a right tackle at 61?”
McGlinchey himself admitted his weight was an issue in 2020 when he was routinely knocked over by oncoming pass rushers. Last year, when he got back up over the 300-pound mark, he was much more reliable against the bull rush.
When John Lynch was asked about McGlinchey’s status at the Combine, he gave a telling answer.
“Mike’s doing well. He had a significant surgery to repair that quad tendon, but just as Mike has always done, he attacks everything 100 percent, and his rehab is going really well. We’re pleased with his progress. We’re going to give him the time he needs, so not only that he gets back, but he gets back and is pain-free and can play like we believe he is capable of playing.”
The fact that Lynch made it a point to say that the team is going to wait until McGlinchey is well enough to play pain-free implies that he may be back later than the prescribed injury recovery time. That sounds like a smart decision, given how many setbacks the 49ers have had with rehabbing players recently.
Setting aside the injury, McGlinchey’s future with the club is unclear. This season he is on his fifth-year option and will play for a fully guaranteed salary of $10.88 million. Beyond that is anyone’s guess. Even if McGlinchey was fully recovered, the 49ers might have taken a right tackle in this year’s draft. If he isn’t, that possibility seems far more likely.
What do you think? Will McGlinchey be the right tackle this season, or will his injury prevent him from coming back?
Will Mike McGlinchey be able to play this season?
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