Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports


Mike McGlinchey hopes 49ers’ team-first mentality will keep players safe from COVID-19

Aug 10, 2020 at 2:50 PM--


San Francisco 49ers star linebacker Fred Warner said last week that the team's strong locker room would be an advantage while fending off COVID-19.

"I think we have one of the best locker rooms, one of the best groups of men in the whole NFL in our building," Warner told reporters via a video conference call. "I feel like everybody understands the situation and is willing to make the sacrifices needed."

Warner noted that he has no plans to babysit any of his teammates. The players should already know the necessity to stay safe when they exit the 49ers facility.

Offensive tackle Mike McGlinchey was asked about the team's mentality when it comes to protecting itself during the coronavirus pandemic. Any misstep, after all, could temporarily wipe out a significant portion of the locker room.

Teammates like running back Raheem Mostert and cornerback Richard Sherman have already stated that they made the difficult decision to cut themselves off from their families this season. Mostert's remained in Cleveland, where he spends his offseason, while Sherman's remained in the Seattle area.

For Mostert, the decision was especially difficult. He and his wife are expecting the birth of their second child in September — a birth he may be forced to miss.

Taking personal responsibility and protecting the team was the first thing discussed when players arrived for training camp. And it's not just protecting the locker room.

"If anyone could see what's going on in the building — the testing sites, the mask-wearing, the social-distance meeting rooms, and social-distance cafeteria," McGlinchey said. "The protocols that are in place are going to keep us safe, and then it just becomes an individual matter."

McGlinchey noted Mostert's sacrifice, along with three others along the offensive line who have newborns. While the third-year tackle is single, being careful protects his teammates and their families.

"These guys that are sacrificing for our team to have the opportunity to compete for a Super Bowl and build on what we did last year," McGlinchey continued, "that are making the ultimate sacrifice to be away from their loved ones and people who need them, you owe it to them to be responsible as an individual. And you owe it to the rest of the league that's in the same situation. You just hope the guys are going to feel that responsibility and morality to do that and make correct decisions so we can all have a great season and stay safe."

McGlinchey was also asked about the potential of utilizing a face shield attached to his helmet during games. After all, offensive linemen and defensive linemen clash on every play, and therefore, could be at greater risk of contracting or passing on the virus.

McGlinchey hasn't had an opportunity to test out the face shield yet but hopes to do so soon, once the team begins practicing with helmets. How well he can breathe with it on will greatly influence his decision whether or not to wear one.

"From what it looks like, and from everything, it's a cool opportunity for us," McGlinchey said, "and something that gives us a little added protection in the situations that we're in. Really, you just hope, more so than the face shield, that guys are really pros about everything that's going on this season. It's not just your teammates and your teammates' families. Once you start playing games, you're affecting the entire league, at that point.

"So, hopefully, everyone can have the discipline and control and the accountability to one another that we can make this as strict and as smooth as possible, especially in the trenches when we are up close and personal."

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