The San Francisco 49ers trimmed their roster from 90 players down to 53 and made several other changes including placing players on injured reserve and submitting waiver wire claims. A lot of players lost their jobs, but there were few surprises when it comes to the composition of John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan’s roster.
It’s a bit younger overall than one might have expected, but in general, I don’t think there is anything to be upset about regarding who was kept and who was not. It’s a promising start, at the very least.
C.J. Beathard is the backup quarterback, and it will be interesting to see what happens if Brian Hoyer struggles or gets injured. Would the 49ers actually turn straight to Beathard or would they sign a veteran? The same question goes for running back, where Matt Breida figured to be the primary backup for Carlos Hyde.
Let’s go over where things stand and what happened over the weekend. The first round of cuts saw the 49ers release Tim Hightower and Matt Barkley, veteran backups at running back and quarterback. The first wave of cuts saw the team trim these players from the roster:
First cuts: QB Matt Barkley, RB Kapri Bibbs, RB Tim Hightower, FB Tyler McCloskey, WR Louis Murphy, WR Tim Patrick, OL Tim Barnes, OL Andrew Gardner, OL Andrew Lauderdale, OL Norman Price, DL Leger Douzable, LB Shayne Skov, CB Will Davis, CB Will Redmond, CB Prince Charles Iworah, S Vinnie Sunseri, K Nick Rose
The 49ers then made a second round of cuts, which included notable veterans Quinton Dial and Jeremy Kerley. The latter was surprising, but it was probably more of a show of respect given the 49ers didn’t plan to use him as they like what they saw from younger players.
Second cuts: QB Nick Mullens, TE Blake Bell, TE Cole Hikutini, WR DeAndre Smelter, WR Jeremy Kerley, WR DeAndre Carter, OL Darrell Williams Jr., OL JP Flynn, DL Sen’Derrick Marks, DL Quinton Dial, DL Noble Nwachukwu, LB Austin Calitro, CB Asa Jackson
Some of the players above were released, and some were waived. Among the players that were waived by the 49ers, only Bell was claimed by another team, the Minnesota Vikings. The 49ers also were active in the waiver wire, and put in a claim for Cleveland Browns defensive end Xavier Cooper.
To make that move, the 49ers released tight end Logan Paulsen — and then immediately re-signed him after they placed defensive lineman Ronald Blair on injured reserve with the return designation. The 49ers had to carry Blair past roster cuts so they could have him return this season.
After it was all said and done, the 49ers’ injured reserve list for the season was set, at least for now.
Injured reserve: RB Joe Williams, WR Aaron Burbridge, WR BJ Johnson III, OG Joshua Garnett, DT Chris Jones, DL Ronald Blair, LB Donavin Newsom, LB Jimmie Gilbert, LB Malcolm Smith, S Chanceller James, S Don Jones
Finally, the 49ers went to work building their 10-man practice squad. The team announced eight signings to that squad, and Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network reported on a ninth in Jeremy McNichols.
Practice squad: QB Nick Mullens, RB Jeremy McNichols, TE Cole Hikutini, WR DeAndre Carter, WR DeAndre Smelter, OL JP Flynn, OL Darrell Williams, DL Noble Nwachukwu, CB Asa Jackson
So the 49ers have one more spot open on the practice squad — a spot I think can still go to Pita Taumoepenu, the player most on the roster bubble as far as I’m concerned. Either way ...
49ers 53-man roster after the weekend
QB (2): Brian Hoyer, C.J. Beathard
RB (3): Carlos Hyde, Matt Breida, Raheem Mostert
FB (1): Kyle Juszczyk
WR (6): Pierre Garçon, Marquise Goodwin, Aldrick Robinson, Trent Taylor, Victor Bolden, Kendrick Bourne
TE (3): George Kittle, Logan Paulsen, Garrett Celek
OT (4): Joe Staley, Trent Brown, John Theus, Garry Gilliam
OG (3): Zane Beadles, Brandon Fusco, Laken Tomlinson
C (2): Daniel Kilgore, Erik Magnuson
DT (4): DeForest Buckner, Earl Mitchell, D.J. Jones, Tank Carradine
DE (6): Arik Armstead, Solomon Thomas, Elvis Dumervil, Aaron Lynch, Pita Taumoepenu, Xavier Cooper
OLB (2): Eli Harold, Dekoda Watson
MLB (4): NaVorro Bowman, Reuben Foster, Ray Ray Armstrong, Brock Coyle
CB (5): Rashard Robinson, Dontae Johnson, K’Waun Williams, Ahkello Witherspoon,
S (5): Jimmie Ward, Eric Reid, Jaquiski Tartt, Lorenzo Jerome, Adrian Colbert
K (1): Robbie Gould
P (1): Bradley Pinion
LS (1): Kyle Nelson