The 49ers released the team's official depth chart, which contains the names of all 53 players on the roster.
But when the 49ers open the NFL regular season Sunday against the Green Bay Packers, only 46 players will be in uniform and eligible to participate in the game. Every NFL team must deactivate seven players at a deadline 90 minutes before kickoff.Here's a look at the official depth chart and who's on the bubble to be on the 46-man active list of the 49ers:QB: Scott Tolzien was the No. 3 quarterback last season, and he never once suited up for a game. If Alex Smith and Colin Kaepernick remain healthy, Tolzien does not figure to be in uniform this year, either.RB: Brandon Jacobs was seen shawdow-boxing in the 49ers' locker room Tuesday. That's a good sign, considering two weeks ago he was limping around on crutches. His left knee is improving. But will he be well enough to play Sunday as the 49ers' short-yardage back? LaMichael James has not carved out a defined role, and he does not help much on special teams. Anthony Dixon is the fifth halfback, but he's one of the 49ers' core special teams players, so he figures to suit up.WR: Ted Ginn, the only player in the NFL last season to rank in the top five in both kickoff and punt returns, might not be 100 percent due to a right ankle sprain. The 49ers almost have to suit up Kyle Williams to be the No. 4 receiver and the insurance policy, at least, in the return game. Rookie A.J. Jenkins probably will begin the season as a spectator.TE: Demarcus Dobbs is a two-way player who gives the 49ers value at this spot as a third tight end and along the defensive line. Undrafted rookie Garrett Celek is a player the 49ers have chosen to develop. Don't figure on him seeing any action early in the season.OL: The 49ers suit up seven offensive linemen. Leonard Davis and Daniel Kilgore get those roles, with Joe Looney being deactivated.DL: Nose tackle Ian Williams does not figure to suit up unless there's an injury or two on the line. Will Tukuafu and Dobbs have value because of their two-way presence.RELATED: Dobbs, Tukuafu take pride in being 'mutts'
ILB: Backups Larry Grant and Tavares Gooden are core special-teams players, so they will suit up and play -- just like last season.OLB: Clark Haggans is the third outside linebacker. Because the 49ers figure to be in nickel most of the game, it's not imperative that Haggans is in uniform. Still, he seems to be a solid bet to put on No. 51 for the first time with his new team Sunday.CB: Chris Culliver and Perrish Cox, the third and fourth corners, will be active. And the 49ers might activate a fifth corner, Tramaine Brock, mostly for his play as a gunner on punt coverage.S: Third safety C.J. Spillman, one of the best special-teams players in the league will definitely be in uniform. Both Trenton Robinson and Darcel McBath were on the 49ers' first-team kickoff coverage unit in the exhibition season. There's not room on the 46-man active list for both Robinson and McBath.
I hadn’t considered the notion of Jacksonville quarterback Blake Bortles bombing quite so badly Thursday night, so I hadn’t considered the notion advanced by Pro Football Talk Friday morning that Jacksonville might be a great place for Colin Kaepernick.
That’s because I long ago stopped considering the idea that Kaepernick’s exile from football was, or is, about football. It isn’t. He is the example for future player/miscreants, and trotting his name out every time a quarterback in the new NFL vomits up a practice game on national television is simply perpetuating a lie.
Until someone gets so desperate that it isn’t any more.
That’s the problem with being so definitive about Kaepernick’s perpetual ban. It only takes one owner with a willingness to stick a middle finger up to the objections and say, “I own a football team, not some branch of the USO” to end this national spitfest once and for all. And yes, I say owner because this is an owner’s decision, solely and completely. In the hypothetical of Kaepernick the Jaguar, it will be made not by Doug Marrone, who is merely a coach, or by Tom Coughlin, who is only the general manager, but Shahid Khad, one of the brightest and quietly more powerful owners in the league.
But the odds still scream No Kaep For You, because it would mean that exhibition games matter for judgmental purposes (which they don’t), that Bortles is somehow worse than half the quarterbacks in the NFL (he is part of an amorphous blob of non-producers whose numbers are growing as the differences between college and pro football offenses expand), and that owners easily break away from the herd once the herd has decided on something (Khan is not a rebel in the Jerry Jones mold by any means).
In other words, I remain unconvinced that there is a place for Colin Kaepernick in a new and nastier NFL. And he’s probably better off.
One week after center Jeremy Zuttah played his way off the 49ers’ roster in short order, he ended up back with the team that got rid of him to open the offseason.
The Baltimore Ravens on Friday announced the signing of Zuttah, whom the 49ers released on Aug. 9 after acquiring him from the Ravens in a March trade.
The 49ers determined center Daniel Kilgore was clearly better than Zuttah. Moreover, Zuttah he did not demonstrate any promise of being an asset at either of the guard positions.
Zuttah, 31, played the past three seasons with the Ravens after six seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Zuttah was named to his first Pro Bowl after last season.
The 49ers originally acquired Zuttah in a swap of sixth-round draft picks. The Ravens received the 49ers’ pick at No. 186 and selected Virginia Tech safety Chuck Clark. The 49ers took over Baltimore’s selection at No. 198 and chose Mississippi defensive tackle D.J. Jones.
The 49ers are confident in Kilgore and offensive tackles Joe Staley and Trent Brown. However, there is concern at the guard positions.
Brandon Fusco appears to be earning the confidence of the coaching staff at right guard. But left guard remains a concern. Zane Beadles is currently the starter while Joshua Garnett rehabs from arthroscopic knee surgery to repair cartilage. The 49ers are hopeful Garnett will be available for the opening of the regular season.