The 49ers are not expected to have their starting center back for a while. Weston Richburg appears a candidate for the reserve/PUP list.
Kyle Shanahan said Thursday that Richburg will not be available for San Francisco’s Week 1 game, and Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area adds that the veteran blocker is expected to be out for the season’s first six weeks. That would point to a PUP list stay. Players who land on the reserve/PUP list at the season’s outset are forced to miss at least six weeks.
Richburg suffered a torn patellar tendon in December. This is a particularly difficult injury to surmount, and the late-season setback looks certain to affect Richburg’s 2020 slate. This will be Richburg’s third 49ers season. The former Giants second-round pick was targeting a training camp return, but that does not appear to be in the cards.
San Francisco has seen some turnover up front, with Trent Williams succeeding Joe Staley and Tom Compton being brought in to follow two-year starter Mike Person. Richburg backup Ben Garland is also out, and recent acquisition Spencer Long retired. These developments led to the 49ers signing Hroniss Grasu. Garland is expected to be out for multiple weeks with his ankle injury, Maiocco adds.
There will be at least three new starters on the 49ers’ O-line in Week 1, with Laken Tomlinson and Mike McGlinchey being the holdovers. San Francisco returned all five of its starting linemen to start last season.