Alex Mack was a no-show for the 49ers' second day of OTAs.
Not a surprise in the slightest as the current playing status of Mack is completely in the dark. Mack has not indicated one way or another and neither have the 49ers so much. However, Kyle Shanahan may have tipped the hand as to which way Mack is leaning for 2022.
"I talk to him here and there, I got a good idea," said Shanahan. "I've been in touch with him throughout the offseason, through his wedding, through his honeymoon. He's in some other country right now, but I got a pretty good idea what he's doing."
Dating back to draft week, Shanahan and Lynch said that it isn't their place to reveal what the future/status is of one their players. I interpreted that, given their tone, that they know Mack is not coming back and that they will leave it up to him to make his decision public and finalized.
With Mack absent, the 49ers turned to Jake Brendel at center. If that is who the 49ers are rocking with going into the regular season, then it will likely be a rough transition. Not really the most optimal start for Trey Lance to have a newcomer at center along with two other variables at left and right guard. Interior offensive line is looking fairly weak for the 49ers right now.
Having Mack back for 2022 would be a huge return to bridge the gap for the two guard positions. Lance may be mobile enough to evade pressure, but that mobility can be suppressed when defensive tackles blow up the pocket within seconds of snapping the ball.
It feels like the 49ers are going to roll out Lance a lot in order to keep him upright and aid the interior offensive line until they can get going. That is really the only course of action for the 49ers. They do not have an adequate backup plan if Mack retires, so if he comes back it will be enormous for them.
I'm just not holding my breath or buying any stock in Mack returning. I believe it is a foregone conclusion that he is gone. And the way that Shanahan made his final comments on the topic makes it seem that way as well.
"I got a pretty good idea, and I think you guys do too."