(Courtesy Samuel Lam)
Yesterday I noticed the Barrows and Maiocco both focusing their practice recaps on Micheal Spurlock, and particularly the 49ers utilization of him in the wildcat offensive package. Even Sam Lam (PHUT around here) had a few thoughts on the wildcat offense. The way I look at it, for the 49ers, the Wildcat would be more of just a wrinkle, sort of like a more utilized (and hopefully more successful) version of the reverse. You see it in games and it can be successful at times, but it's not something an NFL can build an offense around for a full 16-game schedule. Yes the Dolphins had some success with it, but that was still relatively limited over the entire season.
I bring it up at this point to focus in on a specific player waging a life and death struggle for a roster spot: Micheal Spurlock. Back in late May I listed Spurlock in the "No Chance" group. Right before training camp, my 53-man roster projection did not include him, and in fact I figured a guy like Kory Sheets had a much better chance of making the roster than Spurlock.
Then this happened, and this happened. While Spurlock may not get much of a nod as a wide receiver, the reduction in numbers could benefit him more than anybody else on this roster. He's certainly helping himself in kick return duties, and as of yesterday, wildcat duties. When Maiocco did his offensive player review a week or so into training camp, he said about Spurlock:
His ability in the return game, as well as his experience in a "Wildcat" type offense is edging him into that first tier of receivers looking for roster spots. He has the versatility to play all three spots.
It sounds like Spurlock's PT in the wildcat is benefiting from the injury to Michael Robinson. The question then becomes what happens when players start getting healthy (Robinson/B. Jones) and signing (Crabtree). Jones is out until early October so that's not a big issue at this point. But Michael Robinson will be back and getting wildcat snaps pretty soon, while Crabtree could sign at any point.
I open this discussion up with a simple question: Given that he has NO practice squad eligibility, what do the 49ers do with Micheal Spurlock?