49ers' O-line shuffle sees Alex Boone move to LG


SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- As expected, Alex Boone is moving to left guard after being a mainstay at right guard the past three seasons to replace three-time Pro Bowler Mike Iupati, who signed as a free agent with the division rival Arizona Cardinals.

Boone, though, also can step in at a tackle spot, if needed.

“You get to game day and we’re talking about how many offensive linemen you have up (activated),” coach Jim Tomsula said Friday. “So how can we create some depth there? When you start talking about playing that tackle spot, you’ve seen him do that for us on the field before. But now when he’s playing the right guard, the stance is the opposite. So when we put him at the left guard, we’ve got that stance just so at least he’s working out of that stance.

“That’s quite simply and honestly, that’s the whole answer.”

Left tackle Joe Staley said the adjustment period should be negligible.

“That’s something that we’re going to get dialed in in training camp. That’s what all these practices are for,” Staley said. “Really figure out the communication and the camaraderie of the offensive line and just move forward.”

The rest of the offensive line, though, remains in question. Especially with center Daniel Kilgore on the PUP list having undergone a follow-up procedure on his surgically repaired left ankle, which was broken last October at Denver.

“We were expecting (Kilgore) sometime toward the middle of training camp. That’s pushed back, but I don’t know how far back,” Tomsula said. “We’re not in a concern for him long term, season-ending, none of that stuff.

“He is healing now and he’s healing well. That’s where we are with that.”

Meanwhile, Joe Looney and Marcus Martin will get reps early in camp at center with Martin also seeing time at right guard, while free agent signee Erik Pears figures to be at right tackle, along with rookie Trent Brown.

The 49ers also placed inside linebacker Michael Wilhoite on the non-football injury list Friday with what Tomsula described as a “muscle strain” in the leg, while adding that linebacker Nick Bellore is sick.

Wilhoite started 16 games for the first time in his career last year, finishing with a career-high 87 tackles. Nick Moody and Philip Wheeler will get his reps in practice.