No. 1: 49ers will keep 3 O-linemen on the practice squad
In previous years, doing this might have been considered a waste of at least one practice squad spot.
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But offseason changes to practice squad rules shake things up for Kyle Shanahan. What was initially an increase from 10 to 12 practice squad players saw an adjustment in light of COVID-19, pushing the number up to 16. And six players no longer have to be eligible, meaning veterans can be cut yet signed to the practice squad. Certain rules also prevent other teams from purging players from this group, too, which will be unique to this season.
As long as a veteran player agrees to take a significant pay cut to sign back on the practice squad, though.
Still, this means Shanahan and the 49ers can stockpile some reserve linemen they like, potentially a veteran or two and one developmental player.
Ross Reynolds, who was one of college football’s best run blockers in 2017, looked sharp enough to have an outsider’s chance to make the cut last year. He didn’t, falling to the practice squad, and another camp injury could mean he starts 2020 there again.
And if the Niners don’t add another veteran, one might expect players like Kofi Amichia or William Sweet to land with this group.
Even if this happens, though, San Francisco will still count down the days before it gets Weston Richburg back and the O-line straightens itself out.