According to a report by the San Jose Mercury News’ Cam Inman, right guard Anthony Davis may be mulling another sudden retirement from football just two days before the season opener.
After being labeled as a non-participant on Saturday’s practice report with a non-injury, Inman states that a source close to the situation indicated that Davis may decide to retire yet again, leaving the 49ers high-and-dry for the second time in as many seasons.
Davis initially stepped away from the sport just before the start of last year’s training camp to heal his “mind and body.” The sudden decision left a bad taste in the organizations mouth, as they had little time to prepare for the departure of the former first-round pick before the start of the season.
If Inman’s source is correct and Davis decides to follow through with his sudden urge, history will repeat itself for the 49ers, although likely in an irreparable fashion this time.
The 49ers are better suited to handle Davis’ departure this year, though, should this scenario play itself out again. Andrew Tiller is a strong option to replace Davis on the offensive line, having impressed over his seven starts during last year’s campaign.
The fourth-year player opened up the offseason programs as the starting right guard before eventually being usurped by Davis.
According to ProFootballFocus’s Jeff Deeney, Tiller ranked in the upper half of qualified guards last season at 28th out of a total 82.
San Francisco also traded for an extra first round draft pick, moving their second, fourth and sixth round draft picks to select Stanford guard Joshua Garnett in April.
While Tiller’s NFL service will likely put him as the front-runner for the starting gig should Davis retire, Garnett provides the team with talent behind both Tiller and journeyman guard Zane Beadles, and could supplant the latter after a few games.
No matter how you swing it though,though, the loss of Davis would be a blow to the 49ers from both a talent and depth standpoint. If Davis made another sudden announcement like this, it would be likely that the 49ers would not be willing to receive him with open arms if he reversed his decision again.