Fusco was the first man up at right guard in Atlanta's game against Kansas City on Friday, after Wes Schweitzer got the nod in the preseason opener against the Jets last week. While head coach didn't go so far as to outright declare Fusco as the starter for the season, he did say that the seven-year veteran "earned the right to be the starter again" for the Falcons' upcoming preseason tilt against the Jaguars.
As right guard Wes Schweitzer continues to rebound from an undisclosed injury, Fusco is building momentum in his bid to earn a starting role for Atlanta. Among Falcons offensive linemen, Fusco ranks second behind Andy Levitre (141) and Alex Mack (133) with 80 career regular-season starts. If Fusco's contract is any indication of the team's plan for him, it's highly probable that he will get the nod over Schweitzer at guard given the fact that he is making roughly six times more in annual guaranteed money.
Fusco agreed to terms on a three-year deal worth $12.75 million, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.
Fusco becomes the Falcons' first external acquisition of the 2018 offseason, bringing with him a sound familiarity of the team's run scheme due to his time playing under former Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan. The 29-year-old offensive guard played his first six NFL seasons in Minnesota before being signed by San Francisco last May, and he has missed only two starts over the past three seasons due to injury. Fusco is an injury-resistant player who possesses respectable run-blocking abilities, as 49ers backs averaged 3.9 yards per carry on runs behind him last season.
Fusco (biceps) won't carry an injury designation into Sunday's game against the Cardinals, Mike Jurecki of Arizona Sports 98.7 FM reports.
Fusco missed a pair of practices again this week after playing every offensive snap in Sunday's loss to the Eagles, but it seems as though the team was just being cautious early in the week. The 29-year-old faced no limitations Friday appears set to go for Sunday.
Fusco is listed as active Sunday against the Eagles.
Although Fusco missed two practices this week, he returned to action Friday, which was enough to keep him off the Week 8 inactive list. He'll presumably draw the start at right guard, though the regular tackle to his right, Trent Brown, will miss the game due to a concussion suffered in Week 7.
|5||10/7/18||@ PIT||1:00 pm|
|Bye: Week 8|
|9||11/4/18||@ WAS||1:00 pm|
|10||11/11/18||@ CLE||1:00 pm|
|12||11/22/18||@ NO||8:20 pm|
|14||12/9/18||@ GB||1:00 pm|
|16||12/23/18||@ CAR||1:00 pm|
|17||12/30/18||@ TB||1:00 pm|
|2017||San Francisco 49ers||16||16|
|2017||San Francisco 49ers||16||1||1.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|Year||Team||G||Fum||Lost||Fum Forced||Own Rec||Opp Rec||Yds||Tot Rec||TD|
|2017||San Francisco 49ers||16||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|