Heading into a big game against the Seahawks in Week 14, there was some San Francisco 49ers news as the team juggled the back end of its roster in hopes of sealing up its depth. One player it made a move on was wide receiver Chris Conley, who has been with the practice squad but as already been elevated the league-max three times. The 49ers signed Conley to the 53-man roster, and placed Ray-Ray McCloud on the IR.
The 49ers also brought up running back Jeremy McNichols and veteran safety Erik Harris with standard practice-squad elevations.
Losing McCloud, who was the team’s top kick and punt returner will sting, especially because he will be out for the remainder of the regular season. The 49ers had rookie Ronnie Bell returning punts and star receiver Deebo Samuel returning kicks in Week 13 against the Eagles.
Commenting on 49ers news of McCloud’s injury, coach Kyle Shanahan said, “He came out. I think he was limited on Wednesday, but didn’t feel great. So we’ve got to be safe with him. Had a number of rib (injuries).”
Chris Conley ‘Intelligent,’ ‘Hard Worker’
Among the minor flurry of 49ers news on Saturday, the elevation of Chris Conley might be the most interesting. He is a talented receiver whose career was thrown off track by an Achilles tendon injury in 2017. He’s been on the 49ers practice squad all season but has yet to record a stat. He has played 19 offensive snaps and nine special teams snaps in his three games.
Back in 2018, when Conley was still showing signs of improvement as a former third-round pick of the Chiefs, Kansas City coach Andy Reid spoke highly of him, calling Conley, “very intelligent, a very hard worker and you pull for that kind of a guy.” Given that Conley had also set the NFL Draft Combine record for vertical leap (45 inches), Reid had reason to be excited. But the Chiefs let Conley walk despite five touchdown catches in 2018.
He signed on with Jacksonville in 2019 and caught 47 passes for 775 yards, also with five touchdowns. But that would prove to be the height of his career, and he has bounced through stints with Houston, back to Kansas City and on to the Titans since then.
RB Hierarchy Revealed in 49ers News
Beyond the Chris Conley 49ers news, the addition of McNichols is of interest, too, because the team made a move this week on former third-round pick Tyrion Davis-Price, letting him go to make room for the Logan Ryan signing, then re-signing Davis-Price to the practice squad.
But with backup running back Elijah Mitchell, yet again, doubtful because of a knee injury, the 49ers opted to bring up McNichols rather than Davis-Price from the practice bunch.
That shows how far out of favor Davis-Price has fallen in the 49ers eyes. He was the 93rd pick less than 20 months ago, and now he has been released, cleared waivers and is remaining on the practice squad in favor of McNichols, a veteran journeyman who has not appeared in a game since 2021.
Price-Davis appeared in just one game this season, and, in his two-year career, has 40 carries for 120 yards.