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49ers announce 16-man practice squad, retain veteran who said he wouldn’t join

Photo Credit: 49ers – Terrell Lloyd

The 49ers have their expanded roster. With the NFL’s vote to expand the practice squad from 12 to 16 players this offseason (it was going to grow from 10 to 12 with the new collective bargaining agreement, but another four spots were added in light of the COVID-19 pandemic) and two of those players eligible each week for gamedays, the practice squad is more valuable than it has ever been.

There is a pervasive view that the practice squad is mostly for developmental prospects, and some teams certainly elect to use it for not-quite polished products, but for the most part, the 49ers tend to sign practice squad candidates who they believe can contribute to the active roster in the short term.

Among the names below, the team added five veterans, another new wrinkle to the practice squad, which allows for a six-veteran maximum for the first time. Johnathan Cyprien had said earlier this training camp that he would not be willing to join the reserve unit, but that evidently changed.

General manager John Lynch praised Cyprien for having that mentality on Sunday, when he discussed the roster construction.

“I wouldn’t want someone who was just okay with making the practice squad,” Lynch said. “I think it speaks to the person he is that it was a tough pill to swallow for him.”

Cyprien could well get a chance to play this year. Here are the most significant rule changes to the practice squad this season, including the aforementioned ones:

  • Expansion to 16 players with 6 veteran slots for players with any amount of service time
  • Two practice squad players per week can be promoted to the active roster without being signed; they then return to the practice squad. Each player can do this two times before they must be signed to the active roster upon the third promotion
  • Four players per week can be protected from being signed by other teams (expect those names to frequently include Jauan Jennings, JaMycal Hasty and Tim Harris Jr.). This is updated each week.

Below is the full list of the practice squad:

  • WR River Cracraft
  • S Johnathan Cyprien
  • DL Darrion Daniels
  • OL Hroniss Grasu
  • TE Chase Harrell
  • CB Tim Harris Jr.
  • RB JaMycal Hasty
  • FB Josh Hokit
  • WR Jauan Jennings
  • CB Dontae Johnson
  • DL Dion Jordan
  • S Jared Mayden
  • OL Dakoda Shepley
  • OL William Sweet
  • LB Joe Walker
  • WR Kevin White

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