Colton McKivitz replaces Trent Williams; Jimmy G is getting ready for LA

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The San Francisco 49ers are days away from their second straight primetime game with the Los Angeles Rams coming to town for “Monday Night Football.” The team is looking to bounce back from a narrow loss to the Denver Broncos in Week 3, which also came with significant injuries for the team. Among those personnel losses was All-Pro left tackle Trent Williams, who is expected to be out four to six weeks with a sprained ankle.

Colton McKivitz gets the nod at left tackle

According to head coach Kyle Shanahan, McKivitz will get the start at left tackle against the Rams in Williams’ absence. While replacing high-caliber talent like Williams’ is no easy task, McKivitz has proven he can handle the job in the past. The third-year offensive lineman replaced Williams in the 49ers 2021 regular season finale against Los Angeles with a playoff spot on the line.

“It was such a big game, and we were really hoping to get Trent, obviously,” Shanahan said. “I just remember when we told Colton he was up, and it was okay for him. He went out there and he played. It was a huge challenge to face those two players edge they (the Rams) had, and he just battles the whole game. Whether he gets beat or not, he’ll be there every game and that always gives you a chance.

49ers game coordinator Chris Foerster echoed that sentiment when asked about his confidence in McKivitz ahead of Monday night’s game.

“When he played that last game of the season, Game 17 against the Rams, he got beat with two minutes left in the game,” Foerster said. “It was the last time anyone approached the quarterback on him. It’s not easy in a game of this magnitude, to step in, to block, to be beaten at the most critical moment of the game… He’s the right kind of guy and really worked hard for us.”

Most recently, McKivitz shared his reps at left tackle with second offensive lineman Jaylon Moore following Williams’ early departure from the game against the Broncos. If McKivitz hadn’t had to deal with an ankle injury, Shanahan noted the No. 68 likely would have served as Williams’ primary backup in this contest.

“He got knocked around all week,” Shanahan said Sunday night after the team’s loss to Denver. “We just gave all the reps right side, left side and stayed there.”

A solid performance from McKivitz and the offensive line as a whole will be crucial in reigniting the 49ers offense Monday night. In Week 3, the offensive unit struggled to find a rhythm, performing one-in-ten talk on a third down, and couldn’t get the ground game started, rushing for a total of only 88 yards to Denver. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo has also been fired four times, creating difficult long-range situations for the offensive unit to overcome.

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