Right tackle Mike McGlinchey is single and has no kids. A carefree life? Hardly. Not in 2020. Not amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
McGlinchey has concerns, however, for his 49ers’ teammates and their families, and he hopes the rest of the NFL is as cautious to pull off the coming season.
“These guys are sacrificing for our team for an opportunity to compete for a Super Bowl and build on what we did last year, and they’re making the ultimate sacrifice to be away from their loved ones and people who need them,” McGlinchey said Monday on a video call with reporters.
“You owe it to them to be responsible as an individual and you owe it to the rest of the league in the same situation. You just hope guys feel that responsibility and morality to do that, and make correct decisions so we can all have a great season and stay safe.”
McGlinchey, 25, noted how three of his fellow linemen are fathers to newborns, and he commended running back Raheem Mostert for isolating himself in Santa Clara while his growing family remains in Ohio this season.
No 49ers have gone on the NFL’s COVID-19 reserve list the past 11 days, not since Richie James Jr. and Jeff Wilson Jr. went on it in their first weeks of camp; both came off that list last Tuesday.
McGlinchey, the 49ers’ 2018 top draft pick, stressed how he and his NFL brethren are “very, very fortunate” to have a safe working environment. “If anyone could see what going on in building – the testing sites, the social-distance meeting rooms and cafeteria — with all the protocols going to keep us safe, then it’ll be an individual matter,” McGlinchey said.
Because McGlinchey had platelet-rich plasma treatment on his knees like previous offseasons, he was allowed into the 49ers’ restricted-access facility for treatment this offseason.
This will be McGlinchey’s third season starting at right tackle. He has the ability to slide to guard in an emergency, and he said such versatility will be “huge” across the board in the NFL in finalizing roster spots because of COVID-19 concerns.
As for the 49ers’ new-look line, Daniel Brunskill and Tom Compton are rotating at right guard to replace Mike Person, while Trent Williams’ arrival has been impressive as he takes over for the retired Joe Staley.
“Even in walk-through, you still kind of get a little jaw-dropped by how smooth and how much of an athlete he is at his size,” McGlinchey said of Williams. “It’ll be cool to pick his brain the next couple weeks as camp gets going and seeing him back in action.”
The 49ers transition next Monday to full-pad practices. That could include trying out protective face shields within their helmets. McGlinchey is hoping “the right airways” work, otherwise he won’t use them.
“More so than the faceshield, you just hope guys are pros about everything that goes on this season,” McGlinchey added. “It’s not just your teammates and your teammates’ families, once you start playing games, you’re affecting the entire league.
“Hopefully everyone can have the discipline and control and the accountability to one another that we can make this as strict as possible, especially in the trenches when we are up close and personal.”
Added defensive tackle Arik Armstead: “It’s a lot of unknown, so you’re trying to prepare all the variables. It’s what we’re paid to do, make adjustments on the fly. It’s different and weird. But I’m enjoying being back with my teammates and playing the game I love.”
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Author: Cam Inman