Epistemology, in its simplest terms, is the study of knowledge. Also, a focus of San Francisco 49ers offensive linemen Garry Gilliam.
"I've always been that way since I was younger. I enjoy learning," Gilliam said on Friday. "I like the deeper meaning of things and understanding why we're doing certain things. And the way Kyle (Shanahan) teaches a lot of our offense, he does that perfectly. I've learned a lot about football and a lot about this scheme and the way he looks at it."
Understanding the game was crucial for the former Penn State tight end who transitioned to an offensive tackle during his senior campaign. The former undrafted free agent found success at both right and left tackle with the Seattle Seahawks for three seasons before joining the 49ers in April.
Gilliam will put his concentration to use at right tackle in Week 8 against the Philadelphia Eagles. Shanahan announced on Friday that he expects Gilliam to get the start on Sunday in place of Trent Brown, who suffered a concussion in Week 7 against the Dallas Cowboys.
"Garry is very athletic. He hasn't played O-lineman for a long time. He was a basketball player coming out of college. They worked with him in Seattle, got him ready and developed him to play. Got a lot of playing time last year we brought him in here to become a swing tackle for us and to complete with the guys," Shanahan said. "Garry's been our swing tackle since and he's going to get this opportunity most likely on Sunday."
Gilliam started 30 games during his tenure with the Seahawks, including all but one of his 14 appearances in 2016. With the experience gained in Seattle, Gilliam has been ready to step in when called upon.
"I've approached this game as I have every other game since I've been here - as if I was a starter or was going to start," Gilliam said. "My preparation, the way I'm getting ready for the game, the way I've studied, the way I've practiced, it's all been the same. I've gotten more reps at practice because I am the starter on that side now. That's just what it is."
In addition to Brown, the 49ers offensive line might also be without starting right guard Brandon Fusco, who suffered a biceps injury in Week 7. Shanahan reported Fusco's status will be a game time decision.
The good news for the 49ers offense is that fullback Kyle Juszczyk will make his return after missing two games due to a back injury. Juszczyk told reporters on Wednesday he would "absolutely" return in Week 8 and is not even listed on the team's final injury report.
On defense, cornerback K'Waun Williams has been ruled out for Sunday's contest. There is no word on who will start at nickel come Sunday. Jimmie Ward and Leon Hall are two options.
The complete list of inactive players and lineup changes will be released 90 minutes prior to kickoff on Sunday. Stay tuned to 49ers.com for updates.