49ers

Daniel Brunskill to step into 49ers' lineup in Mike McGlinchey’s place

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Daniel Brunskill to step into 49ers' lineup in Mike McGlinchey’s place

SANTA CLARA – The road gets a lot more difficult for the 49ers, who sit alone in first place in the NFC West with a 4-0 record.

Not only does the level of competition increase with a trip to face the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday, but the 49ers now will be playing without starting right tackle Mike McGlinchey, who never has missed a game before now due to an injury since he began playing the sport.

The 49ers will start rookie Justin Skule at left tackle in place of six-time Pro Bowl lineman Joe Staley, who continues to recover from a broken left fibula. Now, first-year player Daniel Brunskill is slated to make his first NFL start as he takes over for McGlinchey.

McGlinchey is expected to miss four to six weeks. McGlinchey is scheduled Thursday for arthroscopic surgery on his right knee, coach Kyle Shanahan said on Wednesday.

The 49ers have no plan to make any moves on their 53-man roster as a result of the injuries McGlinchey and fullback Kyle Juszczyk sustained in the team’s 31-3 victory over the Cleveland Browns on Monday night. Juszczyk is out four to six weeks with a knee sprain.

Shanahan said the 49ers would be in the market to make a trade to bolster their roster, but there do not appear to be any reasonable trade scenarios for an offensive lineman at this point, he said. Washington team president Bruce Allen said holdout tackle Trent Williams is not on the trade market.

“Things got to be available,” Shanahan said. “You got to be able to make smart decisions. If there were a smart decision out there, we’d definitely look into it. It doesn’t seem like many are available right now.”

Veteran Sam Young will now serve as the 49ers' backup tackle, while Ben Garland will be the backup at the interior positions.

Brunskill, listed at 6-foot-5, 300 pounds, spent the past two seasons on the Atlanta Falcons practice squad after signing as an undrafted rookie from San Diego State. He converted from tight end to the offensive line while in college. Brunskill spent the spring playing for the San Diego Fleet of the now-defunct Alliance of American Football.

“That’s how the guys upstairs found him,” Shanahan said. “I didn’t know much about him until he got here in OTAs and training camp. I got to see him then and I became a believer in him.

“He was ‘No. 61’ for a while for me. Then, he became ‘Brunskill’ because he was under the radar when it started out, but he earned his spot on this team. He did a real good job.”

Brunskill now wears No. 60.

Skule is a sixth-round draft pick from Vanderbilt who held up in his first two starts at Pittsburgh and Cleveland. Now, Shanahan and the 49ers must devise a plan to provide as much help as Skule and Brunskill will need Sunday against the Rams.

The 49ers expect Brunskill to step in and not be overwhelmed with the daunting task that awaits him Los Angeles edge rushers Michael Brockers and Dante Fowler.

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In order for the 49ers' offense to make it easier on Brunskill and Skule, they can help themselves out by thriving in the run game and allowing quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to use play-action effectively. The 49ers will also likely try to pick their spots with deeper routes with a heavier dose of quick-hitting passes underneath.

“Very similar to Skule, the game’s not too big for him,” Shanahan said. “He’s very efficient. He’s a smart player, and will get the job done and he’ll ready for the challenge on third down.”

49ers injury report: George Kittle, Emmanuel Sanders questionable vs. Packers

49ers injury report: George Kittle, Emmanuel Sanders questionable vs. Packers

SANTA CLARA – Tight end George Kittle appears to be on pace to return to action for the 49ers on Sunday night after missing two games with knee and ankle injuries.

Kittle went through his second day of limited practice and was listed as “questionable” for the team’s game against the Green Bay Packers on "Sunday Night Football."

The 49ers could have their top three pass-catchers on the field, as veteran wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders and rookie Deebo Samuel also are listed as questionable. Sanders has been nursing a ribs injury, while Samuel sustained an injury to his AC joint in last Sunday's win vs. the Cardinals.

Kittle, Sanders and Samuel went through limited practice Thursday and Friday.

The 49ers ruled out defensive end Dee Ford and tackle Joe Staley for Sunday’s game. The club does not expect to have the services of running back Matt Breida and kicker Robbie Gould, either. Both players are listed as doubtful.

Nose tackle D.J. Jones is expected to return to action after missing one game with a groin injury. He no longer is listed on the team’s injury report.

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Here are the injury reports for both teams.

49ers

OUT
DE Dee Ford (quadricep, hamstring)
T Joe Staley (finger)

Doubtful
RB Matt Breida (ankle)
K Robbie Gould (right quadricep)

Questionable
TE George Kittle (knee, ankle)
WR Deebo Samuel (shoulder)
WR Emmanuel Sanders (ribs)

Packers

OUT
G Cole Madison (knee)

Questionable
TE Robert Tonyan (hip)
RB Dan Vitale (knee)

Deebo Samuel says 49ers staying course despite looming tough schedule

Deebo Samuel says 49ers staying course despite looming tough schedule

We keep saying it -- and we keep hearing it. The 49ers have a tough few games ahead of them.

But wide receiver Deebo Samuel is living in the now.

"As we get closer and closer to it, we're kind of getting the feel [that] these are going to be the toughest games, back-to-back, that we're going to have," Samuel said on "The Damon Bruce Show" on 95.7 The Game on Thursday. " ... but we're just going to take it week by week and continue to do the things we've been doing all season."

And those games they have ahead? 

For the upcoming "Sunday Night Football" matchup, the 49ers first play the Green Bay Packers. Then it's followed by the ever-tough Baltimore Ravens on Dec. 1 then the New Orleans Saints a week later. All three teams currently have a record of 8-2.

The upcoming game against Aaron Rodgers and Co. is imperative for both parties. Rodgers told ESPN's Rob Demovsky it "would be nice" to get a win at Levi's Stadium before he would have to do it during the playoffs.

The atmosphere at Levi's alone has been assisting in the success of the 9-1 49ers. Samuel doesn't anticipate any changes despite the heightened competition in front of them.

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"I don't think that we're changing," Samuel said. "I think Kyle (Shanahan) believes in what he's been doing. It's been working, and we're just going to continue to do the same thing that we're doing. We're not going to change. I mean, we've been locked in all season, as you can see, and we're going to continue to do that."