The San Francisco 49ers returned to practice today, which meant some player availability this afternoon. Wide receiver Kyle Williams met with the media and stated that he will return punts on Sunday against the Green Bay Packers. He also stated that he expects there to be a committee of wide receivers working opposite Anquan Boldin.
The punt return news is not a surprise. LaMichael James is listed as the top return man on the 49ers depth chart, with Kyle Williams listed second on both punt and kick returns, and Perrish Cox listed third. The 49ers gave Quinton Patton some return opportunities in the preseason, but for now he is not included on the depth chart. Williams was providing solid returns last season before tearing his ACL. He sat out the entire preseason, so it will be interesting to see how he approaches his returns on Sunday.
The wide receiver news is also not a surprise. Marlon Moore was getting the starting snaps, but the 49ers have enough bodies to rotate in that it makes sense to have a committee opposite Boldin. When the 49ers go to three receiver sets, Boldin will likely spend a good deal of time in the slot, which is something he did in Baltimore. The 49ers wide receiver depth chart listed as follows:
WR: Anquan Boldin, Marlon Moore, Jon Baldwin
WR: Kyle Williams, Quinton Patton, Chris Harper
Harper confirmed he would be operating in a Delanie Walker-type role, which basically means an H-back that can do a little bit of everything. Of course, given that he just joined the team on Monday, I have to think the odds are pretty good that he is inactive this Sunday.
The question will be whether or not Jon Baldwin is active for Sunday. The team has to have seven players inactive on Sunday. We took a look at it over the weekend, but things changed a bit with some roster moves. For Week 1, my inactive projection would be as follows:
QB B.J. Daniels
LB Nick Moody
WR Chris Harper
DT Tony Jerod-Eddie
OG Joe Looney
LB Nate Stupar
RB LaMichael James (injury)