SANTA CLARA -- The 49ers offense didn't miss a beat without fullback Kyle Juszczyk and starting tackles Mike McGlinchey and Joe Staley, but getting them all back for San Francisco's Monday night matchup with the division rival Seattle Seahawks is a huge benefit.
“I feel amazing,” Juszczyk said Tuesday at the 49ers practice facility. “I feel 100 percent, ready to ride. If we had had a chance to practice and I actually had a chance to hit some people last week, there might have been an opportunity for me to play, but since it was a Thursday it made things tough.”
Juszczyk has not played since spraining his MCL in Week 5, and he is feeling fresh heading into Week 10. That's not normal for the fullback, who played in 16 games in each of his first six seasons. Much like C.J. Anderson joining the Los Angeles Rams late last season and making an immediate impact, Juszczyk hopes he can hit the ground running.
Still, not everything was easy during Juszczyk’s time off. He said watching games instead of playing in them was a big challenge.
“Incredibly difficult,” Juszczyk said. “Such waves of emotions when kickoff came. A lot of highs, a lot of lows. Definitely makes it easier when your team is winning while you are gone. I’m definitely going to be really, really excited going into Monday night.”
The 49ers did not lose with Juszczyk, McGlinchey and Staley out of the lineup, and San Francisco's depth stepped up in the trio's absence.
Backup tackles Daniel Brunskill and Justin Skule filled in holes on the offensive line, and tight end Ross Dwelley even stepped up at fullback. Dwelley caught four passes for 29 yards in Thursday's win over the Arizona Cardinals, playing 70 percent of the offensive snaps.
“They did such a phenomenal job,” Juszczyk said. “I’m so proud of Ross, he really held down the fort. Him Brunskill and Skule, just couldn’t be more proud of how they played. It’s a testament to them and a testament to our coaching staff, getting them ready.”
Juszczyk also had a little healthy jealousy for his fill-in.
What coach Kyle Shanahan had schemed for Dwelley while Juszczyk definitely had him feeling left out.
“Ross had some routes drawn up for him right away,” Juszczyk quipped. “I was like, 'I’m looking forward to coming back to that.' Believe me, I’ve already been to Kyle’s office."