Guard Alex Boone is likely to miss the remainder of the season after an MRI examination on Monday showed a slight tear of the MCL in his right knee, a source told CSNBayArea.com.
The knee injury would likely keep him out for a couple of weeks and it will not require surgery, the source said. But because there are just three games remaining in the season, there is no reason to rush Boone back into action. He clearly faces an uncertain future with the 49ers, and he might have already played his final game with the organization.
Boone, 28, a sixth-year professional, is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent. Boone became a starting guard for the 49ers in 2012. He started 32 games in a row before that streak ended at the beginning of the 2014 season when he was late reporting to the team due to a contract dispute. Boone missed the final game of last season due to a knee injury.
In fact, Boone was embroiled in contract issues the past two offseasons. In 2014, he did not attend the team's offseason program and held out all of training camp before reporting just days before the season opener when incentives in his deal were converted into base salary. He reported to camp on time this summer, but did not take part in the team's offseason program as he angled for a contract extension. The sides never entered into serious negotiations.
This year, the 49ers moved Boone from right guard to left guard, where he started the first 13 games of the season. It is possible that other teams could view Boone as a right tackle, which would greatly enhance his value on the open market.
Boone exited Sunday’s game against the Cleveland Browns in the third quarter after outside linebacker Paul Kruger rolled into Boone's leg as he attempted to tackle 49ers running back Shaun Draughn. Marcus Martin replaced Boone at left guard. Daniel Kilgore is expected to take over full time as the 49ers’ starting center.
Boone originally signed with the 49ers in 2009 as an undrafted rookie from Ohio State. He spent his first season on the team's practice squad before earning a spot on the 53-man roster in 2010. In 2013, Boone was named the winner of the Bobb McKittrick Award, given annually to the 49ers offensive lineman who best exemplifies the dedication, excellence and commitment of the legendary offensive-line coach.