In a bit of news that is not surprising, but does help provide some clarification, Marcus Lattimore told the media he expects to start the 2014 season on the Reserve/NFI list.
RB Marcus Lattimore said he expects to start season on NFI just like last year. Hope is he'll be activated after first six weeks. #49ers— Matt Barrows (@mattbarrows) August 25, 2014
The 49ers can make this move as soon as tomorrow when they cut down to their 75 man roster. The 49ers will move several players from the Active/PUP and Active/NFI lists to the Reserve versions of each list. While on the "Active" list, the players count against the 90-man (and thus 75-man) roster limit. If moved to the "Reserve" list, they will not count against the 75-man roster limit, nor the 53-man roster when the season begins.
Last month, socalisteph put together a rundown of the NFI, PUP, short term IR, and regular IR rules. Under those rules, a player cannot play or practice during the first six weeks of the season. The rules then operate as follows:
If a player isn't activated after the sixth week, the team has a six-week window (day after Week 6 to day after Week 11) to make a decision to: 1.) place the player on injured reserve; 2.) release the player; or 3.) get him back to practice. As soon as the player returns to practice, the team has another three-week window to add the player back to the 53-man roster, or place them on the Injured Reserve list.
Jim Harbaugh and Greg Roman have both said Lattimore is getting there, but neither has given anything resembling a timetable. And so for now, we wait. That being said, the 49ers know they have Frank Gore and Carlos Hyde, with a potential side helping of LaMichael James. It would be nice to get Lattimore back on the field, but there is no pressure for now. We have no idea what Lattimore's career will end up looking like, but the patience will hopefully help move it along.