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Another MCL sprain, long snapper tryouts among 49ers’ challenges as they hope for reinforcements

© Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

It would be nice for a week without injuries, but such has not been the case thus far for the 49ers. Though there is optimism, for the first time, that some key players could return, that is balanced with the long list of injuries which seems to only get lengthier.

Active roster injuries

  • Jordan Reed sprained his MCL and will go to injured reserve. He’s out 6-8 weeks.
  • Mark Nzeocha suffered a quad strain and will also go to injured reserve.
  • Dee Ford, who has an undisclosed back injury but is dealing with spasms, may be placed on injured reserve this week.
  • Dre Greenlaw, with a quad contusion, is expected to be out this week.
  • George Kittle (MCL sprain, bone bruise) could return this week, and was limited in practice every day last week. Along with the following players, Kittle will be assessed before the first practice of the week on Wednesday.
  • K’Waun Williams dealt with hip discomfort and is undergoing further tests
  • Jimmy Garoppolo (high ankle sprain) will be assessed before the first practice of the week on Wednesday.
  • Raheem Mostert (MCL sprain) will be assessed before the first practice of the week on Wednesday.
  • Ahkello Witherspoon (hamstring tweak) will be assessed before the first practice of the week on Wednesday.
  • Emmanuel Moseley remains in concussion protocol.

Injured reserve and PUP reminders 

  • Deebo Samuel will be activated off injured reserve this week and return to practice. While Kyle Shanahan suggested he’d be evaluated this week, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported he would likely not make his season debut against the Philadelphia Eagles, but instead in Week 5, against the Miami Dolphins.

  • There haven’t been updates on Richard Sherman or Richie James Jr., but both could return to practice next week.

Here’s your reminder that there are also three players on the team’s physically unable to perform list, who can return to practice after the 49ers’ Week 6 game against the Los Angeles Rams. Each of these players can return the same way injured reserve players do. Once they do return to practice, they have 21 days to be promoted to the active roster, or they must be placed on injured reserve for the remainder of the year.

It sounds like the end of the Kyle Nelson era

  • Kyle Nelson’49ers career may be coming to a very abrupt end. He missed six games last season for violating the league’s performance-enhancing drug policy and was a welcome returnee. But on Sunday, he had egregious failures on almost every snap he took and was replaced by Justin Skule on the final long-snapping opportunity of the game.
  • Shanahan implied that Nelson, who, along with Jimmie Ward, is the longest-tenured member of the 49ers, may be cut, as the team plans long snapper tryouts on Tuesday.

“I know how down Kyle is… He came up to me today and apologized,” Shanahan said. “It was an unfortunate game for him. Kyle’s had an unbelievable career and he’s been a great 49er, great teammate… He knows this business, he understands how this league works. We’re going to bring some guys tomorrow, work them out and then decide what’s best going forward.”

Roster moves to look for

  • Kyle Nelson release → Long snapper X (whoever the 49ers work out)
  • Deebo Samuel activated off injured reserve → Jordan Reed, Mark Nzeocha, Dee Ford placed on injured reserve
  • Joe Walker promoted from practice squad to active roster (was activated this week, can be done twice before a permanent move or release is required)
  • JaMycal Hasty activated from practice squad for the week for first time (if they activate him a third time, he has to stay on the active roster)
  • Chase Harrell activated from practice squad for first time

Here is a rough look at what all of those moves might look like for the roster this week:

Skill positions:

Offensive line:

Defensive line:


Secondary/special teams:


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