The San Francisco 49ers picked the month of November to do a little spring cleaning, as they welcome back contributors from injury and do away with redundancies on their roster.
Management spent the rest of the day brandishing a proverbial ax that they took to both the active roster and the practice squad, alike.
Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area took to Twitter to detail a slew of moves the Niners made on Tuesday.
“The #49ers announced the acquisition of DL Charles Omenihu in a trade with the Texans for 2023 6th round pick,” Maiocco wrote. “Other moves, Cut: LB Tyrell Adams & K Joey Slye. Cut from practice squad: LB Nathan Gerry, RB Jacques Patrick & DL Eddie Yarbrough. P-squad IR: S Kai Nacua.”
Niners Make Slye Move
Some of the Niners’ moves Tuesday, such as the cutting of kicker Joey Slye, were about the elimination of redundancies.
Starting kicker and NFL stalwart Robbie Gould pulled a groin in pregame warm-ups before the Niners’ Week 4 home loss to the Seattle Seahawks, requiring a stop-gap measure on San Francisco’s part.
The team found an answer in Slye, who knocked in 7 of 8 field goal attempts during his four-game tenure with the 49ers but missed 2 of 4 of his extra point tries, per Pro Football Reference.
The Niners announced on Monday that three starters were on their way back from the injured reserve list (IR), including Gould, which rendered Slye’s presence on the roster unnecessary.
Running Down the Roster
Also back from injury, and practicing for the first time this regular season, is running back Jeff Wilson Jr. The tailback suffered an unlikely and unfortunate knee issue while standing up from a chair in the Niners’ locker room after a leg workout prior to the official start of the year. A subsequent surgery knocked him out of active duty for the rest of the preseason and the first eight games of the 2021 campaign.
Wilson returns to a crowded running back room, despite the absence of the also injured Raheem Mostert, who was San Francisco’s projected starter before he went down with chipped knee cartilage in Week 1 against the Detroit Lions and was lost for the year.
Rookie Elijah Mitchell has already posted two games of 100-plus rushing yards, despite playing in only five of seven contests due to a shoulder stinger he sustained in Week 2 against the Philadelphia Eagles. The fifth-round selection appears to have cemented his place atop the Niners’ stable of ball carriers, but Wilson may give the youngster a run for the starting job, as he led the Niners in rushing last year despite playing behind Mostert and appearing in only 12 games.
The Niners’ decision to cut Patrick from the practice squad is not directly related to Wilson’s return, as Wilson is likely to assume a spot on the active roster as soon as the coaching staff believes him able (he returns to practice Wednesday). The moves, however, are tangentially connected in that one of the active backs is almost assuredly destined for a demotion after Wilson’s return.