Here at Niners Nation, we're presenting a series called "90-in-90". We'll be looking at every player on the San Francisco 49ers offseason roster, one player per post, from now until the start of training camp.
Our 90-in-90 roster breakdown is turning into even more than that with two players released, and another couple added. Cameron Morrah and Alex Debniak were both released, although Debniak did revert to the team's injured reserve list. He is no longer on the 90-man roster, but he remains around for the year. In spite of this, we will continue on with this venture.
Today, I thought we'd take a look at a guy who is pretty far down the roster, but is unlikely to get cut in the next few weeks. The 49ers signed wide receiver Chad Hall to the practice squad last November following Kyle Williams ACL tear. Hall was subsequently released December 15, signed back to the practice squad on December 17, and then activated to the 53-man roster January 19 for the NFC Championship Game.
Hall ended up getting one snap against the Falcons, which led to much consternation given that he got a play over rookie wide receiver A.J. Jenkins. There was much grumbling over this one, although Jim Harbaugh did state that it was a specific play in mind for Hall, and that Jenkins remained ahead of him on the depth chart. Two weeks later in the Super Bowl, Hall did not get a snap, and Jenkins was on the field for three snaps.
What to expect in 2013
The 49ers wide receiver competition centers on guys like Kyle Williams, A.J. Jenkins and Quinton Patton, but Chad Hall is a guy who benefits from Michael Crabtree's injury. Hall is a bit of a long-shot, but with a spot opened up by Crabtree's injury, there is a chance Hall could find himself back on the 49ers roster. It's a slim chance, but opportunity has come knocking.
If Hall did make the roster, it would like be as a result of doing well at wide receiver, but more importantly, showing he can make a significant contribution on special teams. Last year, in his one active game, Hall had one snap on offense and none on special teams. If he cannot prove himself on special teams, his odds drop to virtually nil. If he made the 49ers roster this season, it would be in a special teams role.
Odds of making the roster
His roster chances are not strong, but there is a chance. The Crabtree injury has provided an unexpected opportunity for Hall, Ricardo Lockette, Marlon Moore, Chuck Jacobs and Kassim Osgood. The 49ers wide receiver corps will include Anquan Boldin, Kyle Williams, A.J. Jenkins and Quinton Patton. If Mario Manningham starts the season on the PUP list, the 49ers will have one or two open spots at wide receiver.
The team started last season with six wide receivers, and it was only injuries that dropped that number down. Even if the team decides to only carry five receivers, that would open the door for one member of that group that would have entered camp with very limited options. Now things are suddenly interesting for that group. Just based on talk, Ricardo Lockette would seem to have an edge. Marlon Moore has gotten some good talk as well, and Chuck Jacobs is a guy some think has decent upside. As for Kassim Osgood? He has been a special teamer virtually his entire career, which could give him a leg up on the rest.