No. 2: SF 49ers Safety Johnathan Cyprien
With new rules being instated during the 2020 NFL season to accommodate for COVID-19, the league expanded allowances for practice squads. Teams were now allowed to have up to six players on their practice squads with no limitations on the number of seasons accrued.
Basically, this meant teams would be allowed to have veterans of more than three seasons on their practice squads. This allowed the SF 49ers to add veteran safety Johnathan Cyprien, who had been in the league since 2013, to their practice squad.
Cyprien was brought in as a depth piece to the safety position group. Due to various injuries, Cyprien has been on the active roster and played in the last four games for San Francisco.
However, he was relegated to only special teams snaps during those games. But with starting strong safety Jaquiski Tartt headed to injured reserve and out for the season, Marcell Harris and Tarvarius Moore likely get pegged as starters for the rest of 2020.
While Cyprien ended up on IR with a hamstring injury in Week 10, head coach Kyle Shanahan has stated that he should only miss a few weeks. His hopeful late-season return should at least open the door for more field time.
This could allow Cyprien to get into the rotation and get some more snaps at the safety spot. It will most likely be in garbage times of a game when the outcome has already been decided. But if Harris doesn’t perform up to expectations, Cyprien may get on the field a bit earlier than anticipated.