Martin to work at tackle, guard on thin 49ers' offensive line

Martin to work at tackle, guard on thin 49ers' offensive line
August 31, 2014, 7:45 am
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Jonathan Martin was the 42nd overall pick out of Stanford in 2012. (USATSI)

Programming note: For complete coverage of the 49ers roster cuts, tune in to SportsNet Central tonight at 5:30 p.m., 10:30 and midnight on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area

The 49ers went thin on offensive linemen on cut-down day, retaining just seven healthy players on their 53-man roster.

Rookie center Marcus Martin will be unable to practice for six weeks due to a knee injury he sustained last Sunday in an exhibition game against the San Diego Chargers, 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said.

Behind projected Week 1 starters Joe Staley, Mike Iupati, Daniel Kilgore, Joe Looney and Anthony Davis, the 49ers kept just two backups: Jonathan Martin and rookie Dillon Farrell.

[RELATED: 49ers' initial 53-man roster]

Just in order to field a complete offensive line on the scout team that will run the Dallas Cowboys’ offense against the 49ers’ defensive starters this week, the 49ers would have to add three offensive linemen to the 10-player practice squad.

One source said Harbaugh was especially eager to sign guard Ryan Seymour to the practice squad after he was cut Saturday. But Seymour can only re-sign with the 49ers practice squad if he clears waivers Sunday at 9 a.m. (PT).

Tackle Carter Bykowski is another player the 49ers would like to retain. But after being cut in back-to-back seasons, Bykowski may opt to move on to another organization.

Jonathan Martin and Farrell beat out veteran Adam Snyder for a backup role. Martin started all four exhibition games in place of Davis, who underwent offseason shoulder surgery. Martin will serve as the backup tackle on both sides of the line. He might also see some practice time at guard.

[RELATED: Three veteran backups make the 49ers' cut]

“Jonathan, another example of someone who’s really earned the position,” Harbaugh said. “He’s been mainly playing tackle, but he has the ability to play guard and going forward that will be something that he’ll continue to learn and be good at. I feel very good about it. He’s done an excellent job of getting the job done.”

When asked how Martin has fit in with the 49ers after leaving the Miami Dolphins last October in the midst of a bullying scandal involving Richie Incognito, Harbaugh answered, “It’s all been very good. We’re very fortunate to have him and excited about it.”

The 49ers will send a seventh-round pick to the Miami Dolphins in 2015 to complete the trade for Martin. The 49ers owed the Dolphins a draft pick only if Martin made the initial 53-man roster.

Perhaps the biggest surprise to survive the final cuts was Farrell, an undrafted rookie from New Mexico.

“He’s done a fine job,” Harbaugh said. “He’s been versatile. He’s played well in the games and felt like he earned a position.”