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53-man roster projection following second preseason game

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The 49ers are halfway through preseason, with the dress rehearsal on deck. Time for another look at the race for roster spots.

The San Francisco 49ers are halfway through their preseason schedule, and a big week is upon us. The third week of the preseason schedule is the “dress rehearsal” game. The team is going through a normal practice week, will play their starters the most snaps of the preseason, and might even try a little game-planning.

I put together a 53-man roster projection last week following the team’s preseason win over the Dallas Cowboys. Since then, the team has added some players and finds itself dealing with several injuries. Most notably, offensive lineman Erik Magnuson could be out up to two months a hamstring injury, and running back Joe Williams is out through at least the rest of the preseason with a rib fracture. Both are candidates for injured reserve as potentially the team’s two return options.

On my last roster projection, I had Joe Williams as one of the first four players off the roster. The team could decide to stash him on injured reserve to start the season, but I would not be surprised if the team decided to pay out an injury settlement for any time he might miss and simply part ways. He did not wow in his two games of action, and now he is out the rest of the preseason. What are the 49ers going to do?

At guard, I previously had Jonathan Cooper and Erik Magnuson making the roster. I have moved Magnuson to the IR slot, and added Joshua Garnett to the mix. Mike Person can play both guard and center, and with Magnuson’s injury, it makes all the more sense for him to serve as the utility guy. Garnett is currently second behind Person on the right guard depth chart, and this coming week will be a big one for the competition. I would not be shocked to see Garnett getting a shot with the first team in the dress rehearsal game. And if it remains Person, then I guess that will be that for the time being.

One player I’m still trying to figure out is wide receiver Aaron Burbridge. I moved him into first four off last week, and have him there again this week. However, he is getting significant special teams work, and I’m just not sure what to do with him. If he were to make the roster, it would seem to be over either Richie James or Kendrick Bourne. Do you see that happening at this point?

Last week, user NorthIDNiner raised a good point about rookie Marcell Harris. He suggested Harris could be the IR guy like Joe Williams last year. I decided to run with that this week, and have swapped in Greg Mabin at cornerback. Mabin has received regular praise over the past month. The team wanted to give him a bigger opportunity last year, but a calf injury cut that off. I could see him landing a roster spot this year.

QB (2): Jimmy Garoppolo, C.J. Beathard
RB (3): Jerick McKinnon, Matt Breida, Raheem Mostert
FB (1): Kyle Juszczyk
WR (6): Pierre Garçon, Marquise Goodwin, Trent Taylor, Dante Pettis, Kendrick Bourne, Richie James
TE (3): George Kittle, Garrett Celek, Cole Hikutini
OT (3): Joe Staley, Mike McGlinchey, Garry Gilliam
OG (4): Joshua Garnett, Jonathan Cooper Laken Tomlinson, Mike Person
C (1): Weston Richburg

DL (10): DeForest Buckner, Solomon Thomas, Arik Armstead, Cassius Marsh, Earl Mitchell, D.J. Jones, Sheldon Day, Ronald Blair, Jeremiah Attaochu, Jullian Taylor
LB (7): Malcolm Smith, Eli Harold, Fred Warner, Dekoda Watson, Korey Toomer, Brock Coyle, Pita Taumoepenu
CB (6): Richard Sherman, Ahkello Witherspoon, Jimmie Ward, Tarvarius Moore, K’Waun Williams, Greg Mabin
S (4): Jaquiski Tartt, Adrian Colbert, Chanceller James, D.J. Reed

K (1): Robbie Gould
P (1): Bradley Pinion
LS (1): Kyle Nelson

Suspended: Reuben Foster, Victor Bolden Jr.
NFI: Kentavius Street
IR: Erik Magnuson, Marcell Harris

Last four on: Greg Mabin, Richie James, Kendrick Bourne, Korey Toomer
First four off: Aldrick Robinson, Aaron Burbridge, Joe Williams, Tyvis Powell