49ers take wait-and-see approaches with McDonald, Boone

49ers take wait-and-see approaches with McDonald, Boone
September 1, 2014, 9:45 am
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Alex Boone and Ray McDonald have a combined six seasons of starting experience for the 49ers. (USATSI)

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Right tackle Anthony Davis, who missed most of training camp and all four exhibition games after offseason shoulder surgery, is expected to be in the 49ers’ starting lineup Sunday in the regular-season opener against the Dallas Cowboys.

But coach Jim Harbaugh was noncommittal when asked about Davis' status on Saturday.

“We’ll see,” Harbaugh said.

[MAIOCCO: Source: Boone to report to 49ers on Monday] 

Perhaps, the same answer could be used to describe two other 49ers starters.

Defensive tackle Ray McDonald was arrested early Sunday morning in San Jose for felony domestic assault. He posted $25,000 bail and was released from Santa Clara County Jail.

General manager Trent Baalke, in a statement, said the 49ers will “continue to gather the facts.” The information the 49ers obtain through the course of this week will likely determine their next step with McDonald -– and his availability for Sunday’s game at Dallas.

A year ago, the 49ers had the option of deactivating outside linebacker Aldon Smith for a game two days after he was was arrested for a DUI following his single-vehicle accident. The 49ers were roundly criticized for their decision to play Smith every snap of a 27-7 loss to the Indianapolis Colts.

[MAIOCCO: Martin to work at tackle, guard on 49ers' thin offensive line]

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell on Thursday announced his promise to take a stronger stance on issues of domestic violence for all league employees. However, the league is not expected to take any action with McDonald until the issue reaches a conclusion in the court system.

The 49ers could deactivate McDonald for the game and choose to rely on backups on such backups as Tank Carradine, Demarcus Dobbs, Tony Jerod-Eddie and Quinton Dial.

Another wait-and-see approach will likely be taken with 49ers right guard Alex Boone.

He was scheduled to report to the 49ers on Monday to end his holdout and sign a new two-year contract. The 49ers also waived all the fines Boone accumulated during his holdout -- more than $1 million -- in exchange for reporting to the team.

As long as Boone was a starter, he would have made $5.75 million over the next two seasons. Now, the 49ers will pay him $6 million. Essentially, the 49ers rolled his next two years of incentives into base salary, a source said. Boone had made all of his incentives in the two seasons after entering the starting lineup.

Third-year player Joe Looney worked as the starting right guard during Boone’s absence. The 49ers will likely determine this week if Boone is ready to step back into the starting lineup or whether he will be eased back into action.