The San Francisco 49ers were dealt a pretty serious blow to their offensive line earlier this week when backup OT Justin Skule was ruled out for the season with a torn ACL. But they’ve moved quickly to identify his replacement.
According to NFL insider Mike Garafolo, the 49ers are signing veteran offensive lineman Senio Kelemete. The 31-year-old offensive lineman has nearly a decade of NFL experience and has played 88 games with 42 starts.
Kelemete is noted for his versatility, having playing both offensive tackle and guard over his nine-year career. This past year he played 14 games for the Houston Texans, appearing in 14 games and making five starts.
The largest portion of his NFL career has been played at guard though. Between 2015 and 2018, he played 62 games, getting 36 starts split between left and right guard.
The #49ers are signing veteran OL Senio Kelemete, source says. Appeared in 14 games with five starts for the #Texans last season. Versatile guy who has played guard and tackle in the past. Niners just lost backup OT Justin Skule to an ACL injury.
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) June 11, 2021
After going 6-10 in 2021, the 49ers have decided to go with a new quarterback of the future by drafting NDSU stud Trey Lance after trading up. Making sure he has adequate protection whenever he makes his NFL debut should be a top priority.
The loss of Justin Skule could loom large for them as they head into the 2021 season. Skule has been one of the best backup offensive linemen in the league, starting 12 of 31 games for the 49ers.
He played half of the 49ers’ offensive snaps as a rookie, helping them reach the Super Bowl in 2019. His snaps were cut almost in half the following year, but he continued to make an impact, getting four starts last year.
Will the 49ers offense struggle to protect the QB this year?