The San Francisco 49ers might still welcome back a key component to their offensive line. Center Daniel Kilgore, currently on the PUP list, told local media that he believes he will begin practicing with the team the Wednesday after the bye week. Once the practice window is open, the team will have 21 days to activate him to the 53-man roster, or place him on season-ending injured reserve.
The PUP list allows the 49ers to hold off getting Kilgore on the practice field up until Week 12. A PUP player cannot practice the first six weeks of the season, and then has six weeks to have his practice window opened. For Kilgore, if he is in fact going to be ready to play at some point this year, it makes sense to wait until after the bye to open the practice window. It provides flexibility in case the medical staff decides to shut him down.
The question then is what it means for the offensive line. The unit has not had necessary wholesale changes, with Erik Pears, Jordan Devey and Marcus Martin struggling in a big way. If Kilgore can in fact play, it would likely lead to Martin hitting the bench. It remains to be seen if Andrew Tiller will ever get a shot to take the right guard job full time. And Pears just continues to be a blah option at right tackle. Jim Tomsula talks about considering different combinations, but in reality, we really don't see much in the way of change to a unit that has not been good.