Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

John Lynch hopeful Daniel Brunskill will be ready for Week 1, talks Blake Hance, 49ers O-line

Sep 1, 2022 at 11:34 AM--

The San Francisco 49ers remain hopeful that offensive linemen Mike McGlinchey (knee) and Daniel Brunskill (hamstring) will be ready for Week 1 when the team faces the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. McGlinchey returned to practice this week. As for Brunskill, general manager John Lynch says the 49ers remain optimistic.

"We're hopeful that we have him for Week 1," Lynch said Thursday. "You just never know with [hamstring injuries]."

Getting Brunskill back would be good news for what is considered to be one of the 49ers' weakest areas—the interior of the offensive line. The team claimed guard Blake Hance of waivers because of his versatility, hoping that he could help if Brunskill isn't ready.

"He brings real five-position versatility," Lynch said. "Sometimes we talk about versatility, but he's actually done it in our league, played five positions, and has that center versatility, which is so important. We put a claim in, not knowing if we'd get him, and we were pleased when we did."

Hance arrived at his Santa Clara hotel at 1:30 a.m. and was at the facility early, ready to learn the offense.

"He has played left tackle," Lynch added. "He has played right tackle. He's played both guards. So we're excited about that. Those guys are extremely useful.

Lynch also discussed the team's sixth-round pick, offensive lineman Nick Zakelj.

"He just is a guy who kept getting better every single day, and that's what you want in this league," Lynch said of the rookie. "He came from a smaller school, lesser competition. So probably, it was an eye-opener when he got here, just like it was at the Senior Bowl. I remember [assistant general manager] Adam [Peters] talking about, at the Senior Bowl, his Day 2 was so much better than his Day 1, and he's got a lot in his body. And he just kept looking like more and more of an NFL player with every given day.

"We have really focused on him at the guards (positions). We don't want to throw too much [at him], but we do believe he has center in his future, and he'll start snapping out here and make that part of his repertoire under the thought that the more you can do, the better for him, and the better for us."

San Francisco took a risk waiving undrafted rookie offensive lineman Jason Poe but got him to the practice squad.

"You talk about a guy you respect and just the joy he brings to playing football," Lynch said. "I think it's palpable. You feel it. And we were hanging on for dear life. That was a hard call [to waive him]. And the guys love him in the locker room. When he makes a play, everybody, you hear it. We're just going to put him in and allow him to keep getting better.

"Guys like that, despite the challenges of being a little smaller, when you have heart, fight—and it's not just that—he has the ability. Those guys tend to make it."

The 49ers are high on their fourth-round pick, guard Spencer Burford, who mainly played tackle in his last two seasons at UTSA. However, he also played some guard, which prompted the team to move him inside.

"He's held pretty well there, playing right guard the whole time," assistant general manager Adam Peters said. "He'll have his wins, he'll have his losses, good days, and bad days, but you see little incremental growth every single day. And I think he's got a really bright future. He's got long arms, he's very strong, he's smart, and he's a hard worker, so that's all you can ask for."

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