The San Francisco 49ers officially activated offensive lineman Alex Boone on Saturday. To make room, the team released Kassim Osgood, who skips waivers and immediately becomes a free agent as a vested veteran.
After spending the offseason holding out, and appearing on the Reserve/Did Not Report list, Boone was exempted from the 53-man roster upon his return. They had to activate him before close of business on Saturday, and as head coach Jim Harbaugh mentioned on Friday, they have done that.
When Boone returned to the 49ers from his holdout, I was not entirely sure when he would get activated to the roster. However, Anthony Davis's hamstring injury probably helped push up the timeline. It is entirely possible Boone would have been activated even if Davis played, but without Davis the 49ers needed additional depth on the line.
The question now is who plays where on Sunday. Everybody has been talking as though Jonathan Martin is going to start at right tackle. That would seemingly mean Alex Boone could move back in at right guard, or be available off the bench if the team wants to work him in slowly. Bay Area Sports Guy brought up the notion that maybe Boone gets the start at right tackle given his abilities on the edge. There is no indication this will happen, but it's one more consideration.
The decision to release Osgood is not entirely surprising. If he was on the roster for tomorrow's game, his entire salary would become guaranteed. Last year, the 49ers released Osgood at the end of training camp, and then brought him back after Week 1. It is entirely possible they do the same thing this year. For now though, the 49ers could be looking at a pair of rookie gunners on the punt coverage team, with L.J. McCray and Jimmie Ward potentially tabbed for those duties.