The San Francisco 49ers kick off the 2015 NFL regular season on Monday Night Football, on September 14. That game means San Francisco is now a mere 68 days away from kicking off its 2015 regular season. In the spirit of that approaching date, I thought I would steal this idea from our Oakland Raiders site.
Who wore it best: John Ayers (1977-1986)
The 49ers have had an interesting mix of players wear the number 68. Adam Snyder was the most notable recent player, wearing it from 2005 to 2013, minus his time in Arizona. Snyder was a serviceable reserve, but not someone we wanted to see starting all 16 games. He was not a bad replacement, just not an ideal option.
John Ayers and Howard Mudd are the two best players to sport No. 68. Mudd earned three Pro Bowl nods and an All Pro selection between 1964 and 1968. Ayers did not earn such honors, but in ten years with the 49ers, he was a notable member of two Super Bowl squads. Here is an interesting article written shortly after he passed away in 1995 due to liver cancer. There are some great quotations from several 49ers greats.
Who wears it now: DL Kaleb Ramsey, OL Patrick Miller
The San Francisco 49ers do indeed have two players currently wearing No. 68. During the offseason and into training camp, teams are allowed to have one offensive player and one defensive player wear the same jersey. If both players make the team, they then have to decide on new numbers. A combination of 90 players on the roster and all the retired numbers in 49ers history means there are simply not enough numbers available for everybody to have their own. Other players sharing numbers include:
Of Ramsey and Miller, Ramsey has the significantly greater chance of making the roster. Miller is an undrafted free agent addition who is behind a fairly length offensive line depth chart. On the other hand, if Ramsey can stay healthy, he is in the mix for the final defensive line roster spot. He is potentially competing with guys like Tony Jerod-Eddie, Lawrence Okoye, Garrison Smith for a spot on the roster. I could see the team trying to slide him to the practice squad, but if he can show some things in August, that might be a difficult task.