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Kyle Shanahan: Mike Person still the front-runner over Joshua Garnett for 49ers’ right guard spot

Aug 30, 2018 at 10:25 PM


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San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan is still leaning towards Mike Person as his starting right guard, not Joshua Garnett, after telling reporters following the Niners' preseason finale Thursday.


The San Francisco 49ers finished up their 2018 preseason campaign Thursday night, losing to the Los Angeles Chargers 23-21 in both teams' final tuneup before the regular season.

And one of the notable position battles to watch has been at right guard, where Mike Person, Joshua Garnett and Jonathan Cooper have been battling it out for the starting gig. Injuries to both Garnett and Cooper prevented them from seeing a lot of time during training camp, which ultimately led to Person getting the start in the 49ers' first three weeks of preseason action.

That changed Thursday, as Person wasn't dressed. Garnett got the start and saw the majority of snaps into the second half.

While Garnett showed plenty of poise and promise during the game and into the preseason, head coach Kyle Shanahan isn't totally convinced he did enough to unseat Person.

"His name didn't come up much, which is a good thing for an O-lineman," Shanahan told reporters of Garnett following the game. "He had two good days of practice. ... It was a good week for Josh again, and we'll make that decision as the week goes.

"I don't know if that something we'll know, or the world probably won't know, until a week from Sunday."

Garnett, who missed a good chunk of training camp with a knee injury, was subtly called out by Shanahan last month, who was "surprised" Garnett wasn't partaking in practices. It's anyone's guess whether or not that was intended to light a proverbial fire under Garnett, although Shanahan did indicate then it was tough to make the team if a player wasn't available on the field.

When asked if Person was still the front-runner to earn the starting job. Shanahan replied that was the case.

"Anybody who has been in that position in camp and got the majority of those reps," Shanahan elaborated. "You know, we're happy with Mike. He's done a real good job and that's why we didn't dress him tonight. We're really excited about Josh too. He got a real late start, which puts him behind the eight ball with the group.

"There's a lot of continuity that goes into an O-line playing together."

It's still possible Shanahan goes with Garnett over Person. But for now, it's looking as if the former Stanford guard winds up starting the 2018 regular season as a primary backup to one of the two guard spots.

Cooper also saw substantial playing time and remained on the field late into the fourth quarter. He's coming off MCL surgery this offseason, so his ability to develop rapport with the remaining 49ers offensive linemen has been limited until recently.
  • Written by:
    Peter Panacy has been writing about the 49ers since 2011 for outlets like Bleacher Report, Niner Noise, 49ers Webzone, and is occasionally heard as a guest on San Francisco's 95.7 FM The Game and the Niners' flagship station, KNBR 680. Feel free to follow him, or direct any inquiries to his Twitter account.



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