No. 5: Linebacker Korey Toomer
The 49ers’ offseason situation with second-year linebacker Reuben Foster forced general manager John Lynch to spend some resources bringing in possible replacements in case Foster’s off-field legal issues led to something more than just the two-game suspension he’ll see to start 2018.
Among the first of Lynch’s insurance moves was to bring aboard free-agent linebacker Korey Toomer, who primarily played a reserve and special teams role with the Los Angeles Chargers the previous two seasons.
On top of that, the Niners also grabbed BYU’s Fred Warner in Round 3 of the NFL Draft.
Suddenly, San Francisco has a bit of a logjam at the position, as The Athletic’s Matt Barrows pointed out before training camp:
Linebackers Malcolm Smith and Brock Coyle are likely to start, as well as Warner seeing plenty of field time with the ones in preseason. Toomer, however, has been featured primarily with the second- and third-team units through three weeks.
Toomer’s best attribute is against the run, so perhaps the Niners elect to keep him as a backup option and special teams contributor here.
Especially after the 49ers traded off SAM linebacker Eli Harold to the Detroit Lions last week. It’s feasible someone like Smith or Warner gets moved over to that spot.
Still, Toomer remains on the roster bubble and will likely see ample playing time Thursday in attempt to showcase his value.