Engelberger Back In Action
September 08 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
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After undergoing emergency surgery to remove his appendix John Engleberger missed some time in practice, and some pre-season action. Engelberger had already lost his starting spot to Chike Okeafor, but was expected to still be a big contributor to the team. His injury was startling.
No worries though, by week one, Engelberger was back in action. He contributed to the team with a key tackle in the offensive backfield, and played well in the limited snaps he was given. The former starting defensive end has always been around the ball, but the team felt that Okeafor could give them an added pass rush.
The team will increase Engelbergerís play time in week two, and by the third game of the season he should be part of the regular defensive line rotation. The 49ers defensive line already looks improved from last year. They were able to record three sacks and numerous pressures on the Giantsí quarterback that resulted in turnovers. Against the run, they were also superb, allowing about two yards per carry.
As John Engelberger returns to the regular rotation, and defensive tackle, Jim Flannigan who is questionable for week two, also returns, the 49ers expect even bigger things from the defensive line. If this unit can really kick it into high gear, the 49ers defense could be really dominant this season.
Further - On Saturday, the 49ers released defensive end, and fan favorite Jerome Davis. It is unclear if the health of Engelberger made him expendable or if the 49ers are making room for another player.