With the SF 49ers formalizing their 53-man roster, Niner Noise looks at five practice squad players who’ll be promoted between now and Week 4.
The SF 49ers went through an arduous-yet-somewhat-predictable task of forming their initial 53-man roster ahead of Week 1, and there weren’t too many surprises. For the most part, head coach Kyle Shanahan’s regular-season group went about the way many analysts predicted, and there were only a handful of open spots up for grabs anyway.
If anything, the 2020 practice squad was much more provocative a discussion. And as it turned out, the Niners’ reserve members could formulate a halfway-decent team of its own in some regards.
Yet such is the context for this season amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which influenced the decision for teams being able to carry 16 players instead of the previously agreed-upon 12, and six of those spots can be handed to veterans who otherwise wouldn’t have been eligible.
Additionally, teams can protect up to four players from being signed off their practice squads to other teams’ active rosters. There are also protections for game-day promotions and subsequent reversions back to the practice squad, partially eliminating the need to worry about players clearing waivers here.
It’s going to be a necessity for the pandemic. And while it’s impossible to predict who on San Francisco’s roster winds up landing on the reserve/COVID-19 list this season, the increase in practice squad spots lends to the idea there will be some promotions throughout the course of the season.
Perhaps as early as Week 4, a quarter of the way through 2020.
So, while comparing the SF 49ers’ active roster and looking at the practice squad, Niner Noise dishes out predictions and looks at five players who could find themselves promoted to the active roster over the course of these first four weeks.