James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Jeff Wilson, other preseason standouts return to 49ers via practice squad

Sep 1, 2019 at 2:03 PM--

As expected, the San Francisco 49ers 10-man practice squad is comprised mostly of players who spent at least part of the offseason with the team. The lone exception is offensive tackle Ryan Pope, who was recently waived by the Detroit Lions and will sign with the 49ers, according to NBC Sports Bay Area. No other team claimed any of the players waived by San Francisco since Friday.

Before you say it's just the practice squad and it doesn't matter, know that eight of the 10 players on last year's initial practice squad eventually made it to the active roster, including eventual starting quarterback Nick Mullens.

Fans nearly revolted when they heard that running back Jeff Wilson, who had 100 rushing yards on 20 carries in the 49ers' preseason finale against the Los Angeles Chargers, was waived. He had four touchdowns during three preseason games. The Niner Faithful was even angrier after learning San Francisco was carrying just three running backs on its initial 53-player roster.

Despite his apparent talent and the show he put on against the Chargers, there is a lot of depth at running back across the NFL, which made Wilson unlikely to be immediately claimed. The 49ers gambled and apparently won with the decision to waive Wilson.

The 49ers also carried just three total safeties on their 53-player roster but added former sixth-round draft pick Marcell Harris to the practice squad. That could be significant considering both Jimmie Ward and Jaquiski Tartt ended each of the last two seasons on injured reserve. The other safety retained is second-year defensive back Tarvarius Moore, who spent his rookie NFL season playing cornerback before transitioning back to his college position of safety this offseason.

General manager John Lynch said on Saturday that the team could add to the safety group in the coming week.

"I don't think that's unreasonable to expect that we may be making a move to bolster that safety unit," Lynch told reporters via a conference call.

Other key names to make the practice squad include linebacker Elijah Lee, who has been with the 49ers since the team signed him off the Minnesota Vikings practice squad on September 13, 2017. He recorded 65 combined tackles, a sack, two passes defensed, and a forced fumble through 16 games and five starts with San Francisco last year.

Below is a list of the 10 players who make up the 49ers' initial practice squad.

  • LB Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles
  • DT Kevin Givens
  • S Marcell Harris
  • TE Daniel Helm
  • WR Malik Henry
  • LB Elijah Lee
  • G Ross Reynolds
  • OT Ryan Pope
  • DE Jeremiah Valoaga
  • RB Jeff Wilson

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