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Elijah Wilkinson, Dennis Daley Battle For Starting Guard Spot

Notes: McCoy will play Friday against Broncos

Elijah Wilkinson (65) is fighting to keep what has been mostly his first-team reps at left guard.
Elijah Wilkinson (65) is fighting to keep what has been mostly his first-team reps at left guard.

Offensive coordinator Drew Petzing described the first depth chart of the 2023 season as "fluid," although it unofficially highlights who has an edge at starting left guard.

While center has garnered much of the attention for offensive line questions, left guard has been open with the decision to not re-sign Justin Pugh. Elijah Wilkinson has seen the majority of the first unit snaps, although Dennis Daley has had his turns there as well, dating back to offseason work.

For both Wilkinson and Daley, left guard isn't their natural position.

Wilkinson has spent most of his six-year NFL career at right tackle, with 20 of his 36 career starts coming at the position.

"It's all about working on my technique," said Wilkinson, who did start nine games last season at left guard for the Falcons. "Making sure that we're working on snap counts and that we are assignment sound so that we know what we're doing when we get out there."

Daley has the same number of career starts as Wilkinson, but only five of those have been at left guard.

Last season with the Tennessee Titans, Daley started 15 games at left tackle. For the versatile offensive lineman, differentiating the sets that the coaching staff has implemented, along with hand placement and technique is where he wants to improve.

"I'm focusing on what I can do to better myself," Daley said. "I still got a lot of things I need to work on, so every opportunity I get, I take it on."


It's unknown for how long, but quarterback Colt McCoy will play Friday against the Denver Broncos. It's not a surprise that the veteran quarterback is going get a start, having spent training camp as QB1.

But coach Jonathan Gannon isn't sharing with the public any specific insights regarding playing time for Friday's game, quarterback or otherwise.

"We make our decisions as a group, as a staff, and tell our players why we're doing what we're doing," Gannon said.

Clayton Tune, the rookie QB out of Houston, is expected to see time with the second unit.

"You guys will see how we do it all," Gannon said.


One quarterback that won't get any reps on Friday is the rehabbing Kyler Murray, who remains on the PUP list. It hasn't been decided what role Murray will have on game days.

During practices and in the meeting rooms, Murray has been invested and interested in the defensive schemes and learning the playbook while he's on the sidelines. But Gannon said he didn't know if Murray would actually wear a headset for the game.

"I haven't really talked to Drew (Petzing) about that. We'll see," Gannon said. "I want him engaged, but if he's not on a headset, it's OK."

Last season, when Murray sat out the preseason opener, he was allowed to call some plays in the game's latter stages.