The San Francisco 49ers are expected to transfer center Daniel Kilgore to the Reserve/PUP list to start the season, according to Matt Maiocco. The report was followed up by Maiocco word that DeAndre Smelter would open the season on the Reserve/NFI list.
Kilgore is currently on the Active/PUP list, while DeAndre Smelter is on the Active/NFI list. For both players, the team had to decide between now and final roster cuts on this move. My guess is when the 49ers announce the first round of roster moves Tuesday afternoon, it will include Daniel Kilgore to the PUP list, and WR DeAndre Smelter to the NFI list. Those will clear two spots in this initial cut.
The decision to place Kilgore on the PUP list and Smelter on the NFI list means the two players have to miss at least the first six weeks of the regular season. You can review socalisteph's rundown of PUP and NFI list rules, but here is the short version:
1. Must sit first six weeks
2. After six weeks, the 49ers have a six week window (day after Week 6 to day after Week 11) to either place the player on season-ending IR, release the player, or get him back on the practice field.
3. If a player returns to practice in that six week window, the team then has a three-week window to activate him to the 53-man roster, or place him on season-ending IR.
That essentially gives the 49ers 14 or so weeks to figure out what to do with both players. Smelter might get activated for the practice window, but I doubt he is activated to the 53-man roster. There is this tweet of note about Smelter:
A source tells me #49ers are very happy with what they’ve seen both physically and mentally from WR DeAndre Smelter as he rehabs.— Matt Maiocco (@MaioccoCSN) August 31, 2015
The only rush with Kilgore comes in the fact that the 49ers offensive line is struggling in a big way. Joe Looney opened training camp at center, but Marcus Martin was moved over this past week. The 49ers practices are closed the rest of the way, so it is hard to know what exactly we can infer about the line.