The results are in and the San Francisco 49ers have set their 53-man roster, at least for the time being.
The decisions weren’t easy, as the 49ers felt there were who players who earned spots, but it’s a numbers game.
“I would urge our league in the world we’re living in, where there’s things such as concussion protocols and things that are more apt to pull people off the field, at some point we got to adjust these numbers,” said general manager John Lynch. “Whether it’s in terms of the 53 players you’re allowed or at least allowing more to be active on game days.”
The 49ers put running back Jerick McKinnon on season-ending IR for the second season in a row, as he will need another procedure on his right knee.
“We sought a lot of opinions on this,” said Lynch. “Ultimately the decision was made that he needs to undergo another procedure. Being ready in eight weeks wasn’t going to be an option.”
The 49ers released oft-injured guard and 2016 first-round draft pick Joshua Garnett, as well as veteran wide receiver Jordan Matthews. Lynch called Matthews “kind of a victim of circumstance.”
“The draft aligned such that it did that we went out and got two receivers and that made it an uphill battle for Jordan,” said Lynch.
That makes the 49ers wide receivers Marquise Goodwin, Kendrick Bourne, Trent Taylor, Richie James, Jalen Hurd, Deebo Samuel, and Dante Pettis. Taylor is still recovering from foot surgery and will not be ready for Week One, while Jalen Hurd is still TBD with back tightness.
The 49ers will also carry a surprising four tight ends.
Lynch also said rookie defensive end Nick Bosa is on track to practice this week, and his status for Sept. 8 with be determined from there.
A few other notable cuts included: tackle Sam Young, strong safety Marcell Harris running back Jeff Wilson Jr., linebacker Elijah Lee, and defensive back Antone Exum Jr.
With the release of Lee, the assumption is that rookie Dre Greenlaw will be the starting SAM linebacker, while Young’s release makes rookie Justin Skule the presumptive backup to Joe Staley and Mike McGlinchey. It’s all about the rookies.