For the first time this season, San Francisco 49ers guard Chilo Rachal entered the game as a backup, not a starter, on Sunday against the St. Louis Rams.
The reason? He missed practice last week because of the birth of his son, Chilo Jr.
Rachal did play, but only after Adam Snyder, who took Rachal’s customary spot as the starting right guard, suffered a sprained ankle.
It’s not clear whether 49ers coach Mike Singletary made the decision to bench Rachal as some sort of punishment, viewing Rachal as not sufficiently dedicated to the team for his decision to skip practice, or if Singletary just thought Rachal had missed important practice time and wouldn’t be the 49ers’ best option after a week when his mind was elsewhere.
But the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Rachal didn’t agree with Singletary’s decision to remove him from the starting lineup.
“I’m a competitor,” Rachal said. “I want to play.”