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San Francisco 49ers: the 53 chosen ones plus 10

ESPN Radio
September 03, 2019 - 3:42 pm

By Charlie O @Charlieo1320

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The 49ers front office and coaching staff have made the tough decisions, and they now have an official roster of 53 players. They then went to work and filled the 10 open spots on their practice squad. However, they will not be printing the roster cards for the game in Tampa Bay until as late in the day on Saturday as is possible because there will be more changes before kickoff on Sunday. Constant personnel change is the way of life in the NFL.

Quarterback

The team has decided to keep three quarterbacks – Jimmy Garoppolo, Nick Mullens and C.J. Beathard. Garoppolo represents the hope of the 49ers for 2019. Many believe that as goes Garoppolo so goes the Niners. All eyes will be on “Jimmy G” and his production on the field. Those eyes will also be watching his left knee after every hit he takes for limping or ice bags. That left knee is literally a $30-million knee this season.

The 49ers have decided that Nick Mullens will be their number two QB as the season begins. That really should not come as much of a surprise after the performance he put on in Kansas City in the third preseason game of the year.

The team is hedging their bets by keeping veteran C.J. Beathard on the roster. Beathard will cost the 49ers more than most number three quarterbacks earn around the league, but the team must be ready to respond if Garoppolo were to go down.

This is the third year for Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch regime. “The 49er Faithful” have been relatively patient during the first two years of their leadership, especially with the loss of Garoppolo. Fans patience tends to run out very quickly, and 49er fans are expecting real progress this season. This coach and GM need to deliver at least an 8-8 season to make their fanbase feel that the team is on the right track.

The 53 -- Swipe to see the offense. #GoNiners

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Running Backs

The team kept four running backs which is what most observers were predicting during the preseason. Tevin Coleman, Matt Breida, Raheem Mostert and Kyle Juszczyk all made the active roster. None of the players who made the roster were a surprise.

The team hoped that Jerick McKinnon would be able to play this season, but he suffered another setback with his ACL that had been surgically repaired just before the final preseason game. McKinnon has been put on the season ending Injured Reserve List for the second-consecutive season.

Wide Receivers

Seven was the magic number for the Niners roster when it came to wide receivers. They kept Kendrick Bourne, Jalen Hurd, Marquise Goodwin, Richie James Jr, Dante Pettis and Deebo Samuel. Hurd will not be available as the season opens as he is dealing with a back injury. Trent Taylor is on the injured list with a foot problem.

If you have not held your fantasy football draft yet, Deebo Samuel is an intriguing late-round pick for your team.

Tight Ends

The 49ers kept four tight ends on the roster which seems a little heavy. George Kittle will be the featured TE for the team and may be the number one passing target for Garoppolo on many plays. Ross Dwelley, Kaden Smith and Levine Toilolo are the others who made the cut. Garrett Celek is on the injured list but is eligible to return after his back injury has cleared up which is expected to take six weeks.

Offensive Line

One of the biggest surprises for this group was the release of the former 2016 first-round draft pick Joshua Garnett. The league can be a cruel business. When a team is done with a player, it is out on the street for that person. That player may or may not hook on with another team. The length of a career in the NFL can be very short.

The veteran Joe Staley will anchor the O-Line once again for the Niners. Others who made the roster are Laken Tomlinson, Weston Richburg, Mike McGlinchey, Mike Person, Ben Garland, Justin Skule and Daniel Brunskill. Garland will be the top backup interior lineman.

Defensive Line

There has already been changes in the makeup of the D-Line since the 53-man roster was set. Those selected for the team are DeForest Buckner, Nick Bosa – who the team is hoping will be ready to play by Sunday, Arik Armstead – the pride of Elk Grove, Solomon Thomas, D.J. Jones, Ronald Blair III, Kentavius Street, Jullian Taylor and Sheldon Day.

The change to the D-Line is Kentavius Street has been placed on the Injured Reserve list with the designation to return. His slot will not be filled by another lineman.

Linebacker

The Niners are going to start the season with five linebackers on the roster. Kwon Alexander, Fred Warner, Dre Greenlaw, Mark Nzeocha and Azeez Al-Shaair will fill those roster spots.

Greenlaw will have the opportunity to be the team’s starting SAM (strongside) linebacker as the 49ers waived Elijah Lee who was battling issues with a broken thumb.

Cornerbacks

This group will be led by veteran Richard Sherman who act as “heart and soul” of the team as well. He will be joined by Ahkello Witherspoon, K’Waun Williams, Jason Verrett, D.J. Reed Jr and Emmanuel Moseley.

The 49ers coaching staff is very high on Verrett and expect that he will be available to play this Sunday in Tampa.

Safety

The team decided to keep three safeties on their roster as the season begins. Jimmie Ward, Jaquiski Tartt and Tarvarius Moore all provide the team some versatility because they can play both safety and cornerback.

The Specialist

The 49ers spent “big bucks” to keep kicker Robbie Gould on the team and will depend on his reliable leg. Rookie Aussie punter Mitch Wishnowsky may be the surprise star of the season. Colin Holba will be the long snapper for now, but the team will have decision to make in six games when Kyle Nelson completes his suspension.

The Practice Squad

Every NFL can carry an additional 10 players on a practice squad. These players do participate in team practices and serve as “ready reserves” should injuries necessitate a call up to the 53-man roster. Players on the Practice Squad make a minimum of $8000 per week. There is no maximum that a player on the squad can make.

Players on the Practice Squad can be signed by a rival team, but that player must be added to the signing team’s 53-man roster.

The Niners added nine players to the practice squad after they cleared waivers:

Position

                   Name

LB

Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles

DL

Kevin Givens

S

Marcell Harris

TE

Daniel Helm

WR

Malik Henry

LB

Elijah Lee

G

Ross Reynolds

DL

Jeremiah Valoaga

RB

Jeff Wilson Jr.

The team added a 10th player to the practice squad on Monday when they signed linebacker Ryan Pope. Pope (6-7, 313) was waived by the Lions on August 30. He played his college football at San Diego State.

One additional signing

The 49ers have signed defensive back Antone Exum Jr to one-year contract. The team was able to add Exum Jr because Kentavius Street was placed on the Injured Reserve List with the designation to return.

Exum Jr (6-0, 215) was released by the team on August 31 after spending the 2108 season on the 49ers Reserve/Non-Football Injury List.

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