Why Kyle Shanahan is sticking with new 49ers left tackle Justin Skule

Why Kyle Shanahan is sticking with new 49ers left tackle Justin Skule

SANTA CLARA —Without viable options on the open market to take the place of left tackle Joe Staley, 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said that rookie Justin Skule will get the nod for now. 

The 49ers picked up two impressive wins on the East Coast but came home with a big loss. Staley will miss approximately six to eight weeks with a fractured left fibula. Unfortunately for the 49ers, they already lost swing tackle Shon Coleman for the season with an ankle injury. 

Washington Pro Bowl tackle Trent Williams is holding out for a new contract and does have experience with Shanahan’s system but there’s very little chance he ends up in Santa Clara. The price for a trade would be too high and Williams likely does not want to be a one-year rental. 

While Shanahan said that there’s a possibility the 49ers work out a few tackles this week, the team is not set on anything yet. Shanahan thought that Skule did a nice job going in after Staley left Sunday's game. 

"We were mainly running the ball at that time," Shanahan said. "But it was good to get him in a real NFL game especially since he’s going to be playing a lot next week.” 

Skule was a four-year starter at Vanderbilt and Shanahan believes that experience in the SEC will be valuable. Shanahan and the front office will still keep their noses to the ground looking for options, which he said is standard procedure.

“Always,” Shanahan said. “We would love to if there were options. You look at anything that’s possible. I don’t think that there are a ton of options out there that are possible.”

Shahanan explained that Skule is on the roster for a reason, which is why they have confidence that he can hold down the left side until Staley returns. 

“We kept Skule because we thought he was the best available,” Shanahan said. “So that doesn’t change now. I think that Skule is going to get a lot better throughout his career but we kept him on this team because he can help us win now.” 

One option the team will not explore is Mike McGlinchey switching to the left side. Shanahan doesn’t believe that one side is more important as defensive ends often rush from both sides, with the exception of Von Miller. 

Second-year lineman Daniel Brunskill is another option, who Shanahan said will work out this week at tackle as well. Most likely, the coaching staff will adjust to the personnel they have and provide help on the left side by using tight ends and/or a fullback for support.

[RELATED: Staley vows to coach Skule]

Shanahan said adding help isn’t only for rookies. The coach has always game-planned help as needed and sometimes elite players need it too. 

“I’ve been with a lot of good tackles,” Shanahan said. “Had Trent Williams in Washington and Joe Thomas in Cleveland and Joe Staley here. There’s still times when you’ve got to help those guys also.”

49ers inactives: George Kittle, Matt Breida ruled out vs. Cardinals


49ers inactives: George Kittle, Matt Breida ruled out vs. Cardinals

The 49ers' inactive list Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals made their difficult task official. 

Tight end George Kittle (knee, ankle) -- their leading receiver -- and running back Matt Breida (ankle) -- their leading rusher -- won't suit up in the NFC West matchup at Levi's Stadium. 

Kittle injured his left knee and ankle in Week 9 against the Cardinals, and he didn't play Monday night against the Seattle Seahawks. Breida, meanwhile, aggravated his sprained ankle in Monday's loss. 

That defeat was San Francisco's first of the season, and the 49ers will have to bounce back without two leading offensive contributors. The 49ers will have wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders, however, as he is active after injuring his ribs Monday against Seattle. 

[RELATED: 49ers, seven other teams reportedly attend Kap workout]

As for the Cardinals, former 49ers cornerback Tramaine Brock is among Arizona's inactives. 

The Cardinals played the 49ers tight when Kittle and Breida played two weeks ago, and San Francisco will need to overcome their absences in order to avoid a second straight loss. 

NFL rumors: 49ers, seven other teams attend Colin Kaepernick workout


NFL rumors: 49ers, seven other teams attend Colin Kaepernick workout

Colin Kaepernick's venue change for his highly anticipated workout reportedly did not deter the 49ers and seven other NFL teams Saturday. 

San Francisco was one of eight teams to attend the quarterback's workout outside of Atlanta, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Sunday.

NBC Sports Bay Area's Matt Maiocco reported last week that the 49ers would attend. 

The 49ers, of course, were Kaepernick's last NFL team. A 2011 second-round draft pick, Kaepernick started 58 games in six seasons with San Francisco and led the 49ers to back-to-back NFC Championship appearances in 2012 and 2013. Kaepernick quarterbacked the 49ers to Super Bowl XLVII, finishing yards shy of winning the franchise's sixth Super Bowl. 

The 32-year-old has not played since he opted out of his 49ers contract in 2017, shortly after general manager John Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan joined the organization. Kaepernick began kneeling during the playing of the national anthem in the 2016 season to protest racial injustice and police brutality against African Americans, and the 49ers' new regime informed Kaepernick he would be released if he did not opt out of his contract. 

Alongside former 49ers teammate Eric Reid, Kaepernick settled a collusion lawsuit with the NFL in February. Kaepernick's representatives claimed they moved Saturday's workout from the Atlanta Falcons facility to a high school outside of Atlanta due to language in the NFL's waiver release which they described as "unusual." Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio obtained the waiver, writing Sunday that the characterization was "an overstatement of its specific contents," but there was "enough language in the waiver to give a prudent, careful lawyer legitimate concern that an aggressive litigator would later argue that signing the document defeats all potential employment claims that Kaepernick could have made."

As for the 49ers, their attendance Saturday likely doesn't mean they're ready to welcome back Kaepernick into the only organization he has ever known. Shanahan told reporters last season that Kaepernick didn't fit his "style of offense" when the 49ers didn't bring Kaepernick in for a workout after Jimmy Garoppolo tore his ACL. 

[RELATED: Kaepernick tells Goodell, NFL owners to stop running from truth]

The reported remaining teams in attendance were a mix of contenders (Kansas City Chiefs, Philadelphia Eagles), bubble teams (Tennessee Titans, Detroit Lions) and also-rans (New York Jets, Washington), each of which has some kind of need at QB. Of course, that hasn't stopped 32 teams from passing up signing Kaepernick since he became a free agent in 2017.

It probably won't stop them in this case, either.