49ers rookie offensive lineman Mike McGlinchey had a notable NFL debut on Sunday when he was asked to do something he never did during his career at Notre Dame.
After starting and playing the first 34 snaps of his first professional game at right tackle, McGlinchey was forced to move to right guard for the final 32 offensive plays in the 49ers’ 24-16 loss to the Minnesota Vikings. McGlinchey never played a snap at guard in college.
When right guard Mike Person and his replacement, Joshua Garnett, both sustained foot injuries, the 49ers had few options. Veteran tackle Garry Gilliam entered the game, and the 49ers had a decision to make. Gilliam had not practice much in the past month due to a concussion.
“Especially in the first game, you don’t want to do that,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said. “Once it happened, though, you got to decide which way to go. We thought he’d be better in there at guard, just since he’s been practicing the last month, where Gilliam just got in here the last week.
“My hat’s off to him. He didn’t hesitate. He was excited about the challenge and went in there and did his best. I was definitely happy that he was willing to do that.”
McGlinchey said 49ers offensive line coach John Benton asked him, “McGlinch, you want to play guard?”
McGlinchey said, “Sure.”
McGlinchey slid down one spot to line up next to center Weston Richburg. McGlinchey had not taken any snaps at guard since his arrival with the 49ers as the No. 9 overall pick in the draft.
“I told Weston, ‘You’re going to have to help me out a little bit,' and he did, so we made it work," McGlinchey said.
Morris fumble explained
Running back Alfred Morris claimed neither Linval Joseph or Harrison Smith made much of a play on his costly second quarter fumble at the goal line. The Vikings’ best defender on that play, according to Morris, was perspiration.
Morris said he was surprised by the humidity inside U.S. Bank Stadium. He said his fumble was a result of having wet arms.
"My arms were super sweaty,” Morris said. “The ball was already coming out."
On a second-and-goal play from the 1-yard line, Joseph was credited with causing the fumble and Harrison recovered. The 49ers were looking to tie the game at 10-10 at the time.
This ‘n’ that
Linebacker Brock Coyle was diagnosed with a concussion. He must pass through the NFL’s return-to-play protocol to be cleared for the 49ers’ game Sunday against the Detroit Lions. . . Garnett, who was carted off the field with a foot injury on the second play of the third quarter, said he felt his injury was not serious. “I’m going to be fine,” Garnett said. “I’m a warrior. I’ll be back out there.” . . . Richard Sherman recovered a fumble in the second quarter and hand-delivered the ball to quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. Sherman said he told Garoppolo the defense would get the ball back to him, so he literally gave the ball to him. . . Second-year defensive lineman Solomon Thomas made a major blunder with 2:54 remaining in the fourth quarter and the Vikings facing a fourth-and-1 situation. Minnesota was letting the play clock wind down with no intention of snapping the ball. But Thomas jumped offside on Kirk Cousins’ hard count. With the new set of downs, the Vikings ran an additional minute off the clock. “I think he knows,” Shanahan said. “I can sit there and yell as loud as I want at him, but I think he knows. I think everyone in the world knows that.”