After waiving linebacker Nate Stupar on Saturday, the San Francisco 49ers were left with two roster spots to fill. Stupar mostly played on special teams and had five special-teams tackles. He was inactive for the first three games of the season.
The 49ers were able to release Stupar with Aldon Smith recently activated and with plenty of solid special-teams players on the roster. Receiver Mario Manningham and cornerback Eric Wright are expected to be activated soon. But don’t be surprised if you see linebacker Nick Moody placed on the 53-man roster before both players.
Manningham and Wright will likely be activated on Tuesday for Week 10. In addition to them, plus Smith and possibly Moody being added, another two spots will need to be shed from the roster. My prediction is CB Nnamdi Asomugha will be cut because he has been inactive the last four games. While receiver Quinton Patton will be placed on injured reserve with a broken foot.
Until Saturday, Aldon Smith does not count against the active roster because the NFL gave the 49ers a one-week roster exemption. The day before the game against the Carolina Panthers, San Francisco will need to decide whether to add Smith to the 53-man roster. Even though Aldon will not count against the active roster, he will be allowed to practice starting on Monday.
Niners general manager Trent Baalke talked about Smith on 95.7 The Game on Friday. One of the interesting things Baalke said about Smith was that the team has a “well-structured plane in place” for dealing with the linebacker who spent five weeks in substance-abuse rehabilitation. Here are some other comments from Baalke’s interview:
Well, I think there’s a lot of things that are very personal, that [Aldon] and I have talked about, but he’s in a better place. I think he’s more comfortable with where he’s at and who he is as an individual, as a man, as a young man trying to figure out life. And we all try to do that. I don’t think we ever stop. I’m 49 years old and I’m still trying to figure it out. So you can only imagine what a 23-year old is going through, and so we shared a good visit. We had a lot of things to talk about obviously, when you haven’t seen someone for the length of time that we haven’t seen Aldon. But, I think his mind is clear, he’s very positive, and he understands that this is a process and he’s willing to put the time in to make things happen.