Could the San Francisco 49ers add to their roster with the NFC playoffs on the horizon?
On that note, could one or two of those players help fill a position need with the road trip to Arlington, Texas just five days away? It could point that direction with three players getting a workout in front of the 49ers.
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Per NFL reporter Aaron Wilson of SportsTalk 790 in Houston, on Tuesday, January 11, the 49ers tried out three players all from the special teams realm: Cameron Nizialek, Garrison Sanborn and Ryan Winslow.
The tryouts come off the heels of punter Mitch Wishnowsky getting placed in the concussion protocol all because of this blast during the 27-24 road win over the Los Angeles Rams:
Additionally, per team reporter Keiana Martin on Tuesday, the 49ers are currently monitoring the health status of left tackle Trent Williams (elbow) and linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair (knee). Both getting placed on injured reserve could open the door for all three to be added on.
Here’s what you need to know about each player who tried out for the ‘Niners.
Nizialek is a 6-foot-2, 200-pound right-legged punter.
The 26-year-old began his college football career in the Ivy League: Booming punts for the University of Columbia from 2014 to 2016.
According to his Columbia bio, Nizialek broke a school record for average yards per punt at 41.3. He earned second team All-Ivy League honors in his final season with the Lions. Nizialek additionally handled field goals for the Lions — with Nizialek nailing eight of his tries in 2015.
Nizialek then transferred to the University of Georgia in 2017 as a graduate transfer. He went on to elevate his average yards to 45 in his lone season with the Bulldogs. He’s perhaps best known among Georgia fans for producing a 61-yarder with his leg during the Rose Bowl win over Oklahoma.
A series of his highlights can be watched below:
Nizialek didn’t go straight to the NFL right away following Georgia. He did stay in the Peach State but signed with the Atlanta Legends of the defunct Alliance of American Football (AAF). According to a January 28, 2020 article from The Athletic, Nizialek was using the league as a vehicle to reach the NFL.
After the league ceased operations, he found his way to the Baltimore Ravens in August 2019. Since then, he’s had stints with the Jacksonville Jaguars, Atlanta Falcons and recently, the Pittsburgh Steelers — who added him to the practice squad on Christmas Day but released him before the season finale against the Ravens on January 4.
Winslow is the other punter who was given a tryout by the ‘Niners.
Unlike Nizialek, he has experience in the NFC West.
The 27-year-old Winslow has had two stints with the Arizona Cardinals: First in 2019 and then for one game (Christmas against the Indianapolis Colts) in 2021 according to Pro Football Reference.
The 6-foot-5, 217-pounder does share one thing in common with Nizialek — he also experienced the AAF. He played for the San Diego Fleet and Memphis Express.
Winslow’s other stints include the Carolina Panthers, Washington Football Team and Green Bay Packers. Of the three, WFT represents his last NFL employer with the team adding him on New Year’s Eve.
The native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania played collegiately at Pittsburgh, where he earned First Team All-Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) honors in 2017.
Sanborn is the oldest from this trio of tryouts at 36 years of age.
He’s also the only non-punter, but has spent his career feeding punters the ball.
The 6-foot-1, 240-pound long snapper began his career in 2009 with the Buffalo Bills. He was released by the franchise on March 6, 2017.
Should the 49ers add him on, it won’t be his first time in the Bay Area. He signed with the ‘Niners on a one-year deal on September 24, 2019.