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Tuesday, October 27, 2009
49ers' situation at tackle appears dicey

By Mike Sando
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Tony Pashos' season-ending shoulder injury leaves the 49ers with even fewer options at right tackle.

The 49ers placed him on injured reserve Tuesday. This probably forces Adam Snyder into a full-time role at right tackle, which makes Chilo Rachal a more prominent option at right guard.

Rachal has struggled badly this season. Coach Mike Singletary suggested Rachal might benefit from playing a little looser instead of worrying about making mistakes. It's tough to stop worrying about making mistakes when everyone keeps talking about those mistakes.

The 49ers' failure to address right tackle in the draft is hurting them now. I think the team made the right decision in drafting Michael Crabtree with the 10th overall choice. Third-round choice Glen Coffee also proved valuable this season when an injury sidelined Frank Gore.

The team signed veteran Marvel Smith as a fallback, but Smith's chronic back trouble forced him into retirement. Pashos was signed Sept. 7.

Finding a viable tackle in Week 8 isn't a realistic option. Jon Runyan remains available, presumably for a reason. He's 35 years old and coming off microfracture knee surgery. That's a bad combination.