The 49ers rookie class could get a baptism under fire Monday night against the Los Angeles Rams, and none more than tackle Jaylon Moore.
Moore, the 49ers’ first-round pick out of Western Michigan, will assume Mike McGlinchey’s spot at right tackle. McGlinchey was lost for the season with a quadriceps injury in the 49ers Week 10 loss to the Arizona Cardinals.
It won’t be Moore’s debut — he started and played every snap in a 30-18 loss to Indianapolis on Oct. 24 — a game in which he replaced an injured Trent Williams at left tackle.
Moore, at 6-4, 311 pounds, has impressed teammates and coaches with the way he’s carried himself as a rookie.
“His demeanor has been impressive since he’s gotten here,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said Saturday as the 49ers (3-5) wrapped up preparations for the Rams (7-2). “Doesn’t talk a ton, but pretty poised. Nothing seems too big for him. That’s kind of how he played in the Indy game. I thought it was an adjustment for him moving to the right earlier in the week, but I think he got better each day with the reps.”
One of Moore’s biggest boosters is Williams, an eight-time Pro Bowl selection.
“He’s made tremendous strides from OTA to training camp, even when played the Sunday night game, I thought he played pretty well, especially for a guy just getting his feet wet,” Williams said.
Although Williams was the fourth overall pick in the draft and Moore was taken in the fifth round, the veteran tackle sees traits he never had as a rookie.
“Being able to be relaxed and poised, that’s a big step forward, and not everyone comes in with that,” Williams said. “I didn’t certainly, when I was a rookie a century ago.
“He has good contact balance. He’s got good feet. He’s a dancing bear and he can move and he’s definitely a fit for this offense. His career has a very high ceiling and I want to help him reach that.”
Moore is facing a defensive front that will be looking to test a rookie tackle. The Rams have tackle Aaron Donald on the inside, and will occasionally look to get him favorable matchups. There’s also two strong pass-rushing outside linebackers in recently acquired Von Miller and Leonard Floyd, who leads the Rams with 7 1/2 sacks.
“We’ve got a lot of faith in Jaylon,” Williams said. “By his work and his improvement, he has instilled that faith in us.”
The 49ers hope it will be a coming-out party of sorts for a rookie class that other than sixth-round pick Elijah Mitchell hasn’t made a big impression through eight games. With Dre’ Kirkpatrick ruled out of the Rams game with an ankle injury and Josh Norman questionable with a rib injury, rookie cornerbacks Ambry Thomas (third round) and Deommodore Lenoir (fifth round) will both be active and could see action.
It’s a difficult matchup for the 49ers, given Rams receivers include Cooper Kupp (74 receptions, 1,109 yards, 10 touchdowns), Von Jefferson (27 receptions 433 yards) and Odell Beckham Jr., signed this week as a free agent after being released by the Cleveland Browns.
Beckham could get more time than expected, given that second-leading receiver Robert Woods was lost for the season to a torn ACL sustained in practice Friday.
“I’m guessing his reps will go up with that injury happening to Robert, but we’ll have to find out on Monday,” Shanahan said.
Final injury report
Besides Kirkpatrick, 49ers who won’t face the Rams include running back JaMycal Hasty (ankle), defensive tackle Maurice Hurst (calf), wide receiver Mohamed Sanu (knee) and safety Tavon Wilson (foot).
Listed as questionable are Norman, safety Jimmie Ward (quad) and defensive end Arden Key (oblique).
Mitchell, the 49ers leading rusher who has worn a blue jersey during the week to protect injured ribs, said he was feeling much better. With Hasty out, Mitchell’s backups will be Jeff Wilson, active for the first time this year after meniscus surgery, and rookie Trey Sermon.
Wilson had what Shanahan called a “scare” when he walked off the practice field Wednesday but appears good to go.