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Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports


49ers open practice window for Deebo Samuel, waive Kyle Nelson, place Mark Nzeocha on IR, announce other moves

Sep 30, 2020 at 12:11 PM--


The San Francisco 49ers have placed linebacker Mark Nzeocha on injured reserve, forcing him to miss at least the next three games. Nzeocha is dealing with a quad strain.

The 49ers also officially opened the practice window for wide receiver Deebo Samuel. He has been recovering from the Jones fracture in his left foot that was suffered during a player-organized practice in June.

"I know he's been chomping at the bit to get back," Shanahan said. "I know he's really made a lot of progress here in these last 14 days. I know he's pumped to practice. I know he's pumped to play."

The 49ers will use Wednesday's through Friday's practices to determine Samuel's readiness to return to action. The receiver last practiced with the team during the week leading to Super Bowl LIV.

San Francisco also officially announced the following roster moves:

  • Long snapper Kyle Nelson waived
  • Long snapper Taybor Pepper signed to a one-year deal
  • Tight end Daniel Helm signed to a one-year deal from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers practice squad
  • Offensive lineman Cody Conway signed to the practice squad
  • Tight end Charlie Taumoepeau signed to the practice squad
  • Offensive lineman William Sweet released from the practice squad

Nelson struggled mightily during the 49ers' 36-9 victory over the New York Giants.

"It wasn't an issue in the game because of how the rest of the game went," head coach Kyle Shanahan said on Monday. "We were able to still get a W, but he understands this business. He understands how the league works, and we're going to bring in some guys tomorrow (Tuesday), work them out. We'll see how they look, and then we'll decide what's the best for us going forward."

Below is a rundown provided by the 49ers Communications staff.



Helm (6-4, 225) originally entered the NFL after signing with the Chargers as an undrafted rookie free agent on May 10, 2019. He was waived by the Chargers on August 1, 2019, and claimed by the 49ers August 2, 2019. Helm was then waived by the 49ers on August 31, 2019, signed to the practice squad the following day, and was promoted to the active roster on December 12, 2019. He spent part of training camp with the team in 2020, was waived on August 15, 2020, and claimed off waivers by the Kansas City Chiefs the following day. Helm was waived by the Chiefs on September 5, 2020, and later signed to the Buccaneers practice squad on September 23, 2020.

A 25-year-old native of Chatham, IL, Helm attended Duke University where he appeared in 38 games (24 starts) for the Blue Devils and registered 69 receptions for 767 yards and six touchdowns in three seasons (2016-18) after transferring to the school from the University of Tennessee. As a senior in 2018, he appeared in all 13 games (11 starts) and finished with 26 receptions for 271 yards and two touchdowns, earning Third-Team All-ACC honors.

Helm will wear number 88.

Pepper (6-4, 245) originally entered the NFL after signing with the Green Bay Packers to a Reserve/Future contract on January 27, 2017. He went on to appear in four games for Green Bay in 2017 prior to being placed on the Injured Reserve List on November 3, 2017. He later signed a Reserve/Future contract with the New York Giants on December 31, 2018, and was waived by the Giants on August 31, 2019. Pepper signed with the Miami Dolphins on September 2, 2019, where he went on to appear in all 16 games for the Dolphins. He was waived by Miami on May 27, 2020.

A 26-year-old native of Saline, MI, Pepper attended Michigan State University where he played in all 54 games at long snapper and registered 10 tackles on special teams. His 54 games played for the Spartans were tied for the most among any player in school history.

Pepper will wear number 46.

Nzeocha (6-3, 235) and Nelson (6-2, 240) each appeared in the team's first three games of the season.

Conway (6-6, 307) originally entered the NFL after signing with the Tennessee Titans as an undrafted rookie free agent on May 10, 2019. He was waived/injured by the Titans on August 16, 2019, and later signed to the Green Bay Packers practice squad on November 26, 2019. After signing a Reserve/Future contract with the Packers on January 21, 2020, he was waived by the team on September 6.

A 24-year-old native of Plainfield, IL, Conway attended Syracuse University for four years (2015-18) and appeared in 40 games (33 starts) at left tackle for the Orange. As a senior in 2018, he earned Honorable Mention All-ACC honors after starting all 13 games.

Taumoepeau (6-2, 245) originally entered the NFL after signing with the Dallas Cowboys as an undrafted rookie free agent on April 27, 2020. He was waived by the Cowboys on September 2, and later signed to the Indianapolis Colts practice squad on September 8. He was released by the Colts on September 22.

A 24-year-old native of Federal Way, WA, Taumoepeau attended Portland State University for four years (2016-19) where he appeared in 41 games and registered 117 receptions for 1,876 yards and 11 touchdowns. A First-Team All-Big Sky selection (2018) and Second-Team All-American (2018), he appeared in 10 games and finished with 36 receptions for 474 yards and two touchdowns as a senior in 2019.

Sweet (6-6, 313) originally signed to the team's practice squad on September 6, 2020.

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