Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Shanahan confirms Joe Staley will miss 6 to 8 weeks; 49ers rookie Justin Skule will start in his place

Sep 16, 2019 at 4:35 PM--

San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan confirmed offensive tackle Joe Staley will miss six to eight weeks after tests confirmed the severity of the veteran's injury. Staley left Sunday's game against the Cincinnati Bengals in the third quarter after suffering a broken fibula. He left the field with some assistance but needed to be carted to the locker room for X-rays, which revealed the severity of the injury.

Justin Skule replaced Staley for the remainder of the game and Shanahan confirmed that the rookie tackle will start until Staley's return.

"When [Skule] came in, he did a good job," Shanahan said. "We were mainly running the ball at that time but it was good to get him in a real NFL game, especially since he's going to be playing a lot next week."

Don't expect the 49ers to trade for a veteran tackle to fill in for Staley. Shanahan said he doesn't feel as though there is a "ton of great options out there that are possible."

"I think 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," Shanahan continued. "Unfortunately, he's going to get thrown into that right now. We were hoping it wouldn't happen that way but he'll step it up, and we've also got (Daniel) Brunskill also who can play the position. We'll practice both of them throughout this week and we'll see how it unfolds on Sunday."

There was some question whether or not right tackle, Mike McGlinchey, could move to the left while Staley is out, and Shanahan can't envision that happening.

Shanahan said on Sunday after the game that the team is not exploring the option of placing Staley on injured reserve since he could be back sooner than the eight weeks he would be sidelined with the designation.

"Obviously, it's a great 'W' today, on the road," Staley told NBC Sports Bay Area after the game. "I'm bumming personally because this team is really special, and I'm really happy. I want to be a part of it, and I'll do whatever I can to be a part of it for, hopefully, the next six weeks and be back and be ready to go for the end-of-the-season run there."

San Francisco worked out several veteran tackles before Week 1, and Shanahan said the team will probably work out more this week. The 49ers lost their primary swing tackle, Shon Coleman, during the first preseason game on August 10.

The 49ers drafted Staley with the No. 28 overall pick in 2007. The veteran tackle is in his 13th NFL season and had started 16 games in six of his last eight seasons.

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