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Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports


John Lynch discusses decision to place Ronald Blair on PUP, 49ers’ depth on the edges

Sep 7, 2020 at 11:12 AM--


The San Francisco 49ers had hoped to have Ronald Blair ready for Week 1. That didn't end up being the case, and the defensive end landed on the reserve/physically-unable-to-perform (PUP) list. That will shut him down for the first six weeks of the season. Blair won't be able to play or practice with the team during that time.

With Jullian Taylor also on the PUP list, it creates some depth issues at defensive end. General manager John Lynch on Sunday was asked about the decision to give Blair more time to recover and any concerns he might have about the depth along the edges.

"Ronnie, first and foremost, and I told Ronnie this when I told him of our decision that we were going to be keeping him on PUP, he entrusted us with his contract year," Lynch explained. "He came back to us, and we were grateful for that because he's a big part of what we're doing."

Blair suffered an ACL injury against the Seattle Seahawks on November 11, 2019, landed on injured reserve the next day, and the 49ers re-signed him to a one-year deal in March.

"He's like nine months this week away from ACL surgery, and that's a very demanding position," Lynch continued. "You're pushing against 300-pound men, and you better be 100 percent. Even when I talked to Ronnie, I told him that it was in our medical staff's judgment that he's close, but he not quite ready. And Ronnie agreed with that assessment.

"I also shared with him, I know this is his contract year. I know that's important. And Ronnie's a competitor. He wants to compete. But if I'm looking at a guy in his contract year, I'd prefer to see 10 hellacious games than a guy who's working himself back in, and possibly compromising his health because he's not ready. And Ronnie completely agreed."

Lynch said it is true that the 49ers lack a significant amount of healthy defensive ends, but a versatile group comprises the defensive line, and other players can fill in, if needed.

"Yeah, we'd like to leave Solomon (Thomas) inside and never have to move him out, but he always does have that flexibility if we got in a pinch," Lynch said. "Kentavius (Street) has that. Kevin Givens even showed some of that flexibility to be able to go outside.

"I think we covet guys who have some versatility to their game, and we like our defensive line. You guys know that's a focus of how we build our team, not just to be strong with our first four out there, but to come at people in waves, and we're equipped to do that.

"It's sure a nice feeling to know that on PUP, you've got a guy like Ronnie Blair, and a guy like Jullian Taylor, if they can get right, (can) come back and help us. We've got a good guy like Dion Jordan on the practice squad. I think we're well-equipped there, and those guys fire me up."





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