The San Francisco 49ers have four players on injury lists heading into their preseason opener, but they are expecting one player back sooner rather than later. Linebacker Nick Bellore has been on the Active/NFI list since the start of training camp with an unknown illness. Matt Maiocco is reporting Bellore is expected to be activated by the middle of this coming week.
An activation will allow him to practice with the team, and thus get into game action. Bellore spent the last four seasons playing special teams for the New York Jets, before signing a two-year contract with the 49ers. He spent last season under the tutelage of special teams coach Thomas McGaughey. Jim Tomsula hired McGaughey to be his special teams coach this year, which seemingly bodes well for Bellore's roster chances.
McGaughey is on record as viewing Bellore as one of the potential coverage unit leaders. Where it gets interesting is Bellore's contract status. He is a vested veteran, which means his full 2015 salary would become guaranteed if he is on the Week 1 roster. Of course, he also is pretty young still, which means he could be more likely to be claimed off waivers after final cuts.