Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports



On Friday Morning, San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch jumped on KNBR and discussed safety Eric Reid's transition to linebacker. Reid, who was eased back into action during a Week 6 contest against the Washington Redskins after missing three games with a PCL injury, split snaps at inside linebacker with Ray-Ray Armstrong on Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys.

"The fact of the matter is, Eric Reid got hurt in game one of our opportunity to see him -- excuse me, up at Seattle (during Week 2)," Lynch said. "Jaquiski Tartt came in and played good football and so we feel like he earned that spot for now."

On Friday afternoon, it was head coach Kyle Shanahan's opportunity to discuss Reid's new position. Shanahan met with reporters and said the decision is all about getting the best 11 players on the field.

"Eric missed a lot of time," Shanahan explained. "He got to play in one-and-a-half games for us, he went out. While he was gone, we thought Tartt played at a very high level and did some good things. By no means does that mean we decided that Tartt is going to be our safety forever. We just know he was playing at a high level and we didn't want to take him off the field if we thought we could get Eric back on.

"We think Eric can get on the field by helping us at linebacker. We think we do need some help there, especially in some nickel situations. We think that's a way to get our best 11 on the field. We'll see how that works out. We tried it for one week, threw Eric in there with really three days of practice and he went at it. And he's gone at it again this week and I think he'll be better because of it but nothing's set in stone here.

"We're trying to figure out a lot of things about our guys as people and as players. It's professional football and I'm pulling for all these guys, especially guys that I think are good people and are good players. But we've got to make some tough decisions and some tough decisions that I think will be very important to where we go in the future and what leads us to where we want to be.

"You can't make everyone happy. You've got to make those tough decisions and I don't like having to make a decision until I feel extremely confident with what John and I believe in. And you really can't do that until you see it all on tape, you see a situation, you let the year play out, and you've got a lot of stuff there to help you make the best decision."

Shanahan went on to say the fact that Reid has an option to transition to linebacker shows how much they think about him.

"We don't want to take Tartt off the field and I wasn't going to keep Eric off the field the whole time," Shanahan said. "So they could have rotated and played it out too but when you have the versatility and talent of some of these guys, I think it's a huge credit to Eric – the fact that he has the ability, the skillset, and the mindset that he can get it done."