Jon Feliciano

Jon Feliciano works his way into 49ers' permanent O-line mix

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Spencer Burford has started all 28 of his NFL games as the 49ers’ right guard.

But, like his rookie season when he began splitting time with Daniel Brunskill, Burford was on the verge of sharing the position with a veteran offensive lineman, coach Kyle Shanahan said.

The plan called for Jon Feliciano to begin rotating into the action in place of Burford, who has not come along as quickly as the 49ers hoped in his second season in the league. Burford was a fourth-round pick of the 49ers in the 2022 NFL Draft from Texas-San Antonio.

“It had been discussed,” Shanahan said of finding a role for Feliciano. “Nothing against Spencer, but I wanted to make sure that Jon knew that we were aware of how well we thought he had been doing.

“So that was something I just had mentioned to him and was planning on doing it.”

Things changed for the 49ers when starting left guard Aaron Banks sustained a hyperextended toe that is expected to keep him out at least another game.

Banks’ injury opened the door for Feliciano to start at left guard in the 49ers’ 34-3 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday at EverBank Stadium. He will remain in that spot until Banks is able to return to action.

Burford and Feliciano played every snap against Jacksonville, and both players performed admirably as the 49ers gained 293 passing yards and 144 on the ground. The 49ers averaged 7.3 yards per offensive play.

Burford did not give up any quarterback pressures and had his best game of the season. Feliciano surrendered just one quarterback pressure 

“I thought they played real well, did some real good things in the run game and the pass game,” Shanahan said. “So I was very happy with them.”

Feliciano is a ninth-year pro who was a backup for his first four seasons and a starter for the past four. He told NBC Sports Bay Area that he could have signed elsewhere to be a starter but preferred to compete for a starting job on a team he considered to be in the mix to win a Super Bowl.

Feliciano’s day-in, day-out approach finally has put him in position to be more than a backup with the 49ers.

Shanahan said Feliciano’s consistency convinced the 49ers to carve out some regular playing time for a player who served as the top backup at center and the two guard positions for the first half of the season.

“[We] hadn't thought how we would do it, yet,” Shanahan said. “I just thought he [Feliciano] had earned to be out there a little bit, and unfortunately Aaron got hurt.

“But we never looked into any more after that because we knew he was going to be up [starting] this week and going forward.”

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