Back in the mix

With the return to full-contact practice last week of versatile backup <!--Default NodeId For Terrence Metcalf is 722173,2003--><A HREF=[PlayerNode:722173]>Terrence Metcalf</A>, another young player has been added to the mix. Metcalf suffered a fractured finger in the preseason opener, but he could eventually wind up starting at one of the guard spots.

"I don't know what the deal is," Metcalf said. "Whatever the coaches decide they want to do. Corbin's been playing good, Steve's been playing good. It's whatever. Not my decision."

Metcalf could challenge Lacina at right guard. However, with Villarrial's return hoped for by early October, any permanent Metcalf promotion would come at the expense of Edwards, who could be moved back to backup tackle. But Edwards is gaining confidence in his guard play.

"I think I can play the position," he said. "Whether I get to stay there, it's not up to me, but I'd like to. I'm not sure what their thinking is right now with Terrence coming back, whether they'd put him in or move one of us."

Although Metcalf played in nine games last season as a rookie and had a good training camp, Wylie doesn't sound like he expects him to make his first NFL start soon, but it could happen before long.

"I have to bring him back slowly because he hasn't done anything," Wylie said. "You'd like to say, 'Hey, he's going to go right in there,' but you don't know how it's going to work out. You work with the kid, he's getting better, then he gets injured and you have to see how he comes back from the injury. He needs to get in some kind of playing shape, and the only way you get into playing shape is to play and practice. We have to go through those growing pains before I can stick him in a game someplace."

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