SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS

49ers Continue to Fill Out Practice Squad, While Deebo Returns to Practice Monday

Sep 6, 2022, 10:06 AM | Updated: 11:40 am

D.J. Jones #93 of the San Francisco 49ers goes through drills during training camp at SAP Performan...

SANTA CLARA, CALIFORNIA - JULY 30: D.J. Jones #93 of the San Francisco 49ers goes through drills during training camp at SAP Performance Facility on July 30, 2021 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)

(Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)

On the eve of the first week of the regular season, the San Francisco 49ers were still making alterations to their roster.

Well the practice squad but still.

The 49ers added to new pieces to the organization Monday, signing linebacker Buddy Johnson and offensive lineman Leroy Watson to the Santa Clara squad.

“Johnson was originally drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the fourth round (140th overall) of the 2021 NFL Draft. As a rookie in 2021, he appeared in four games and registered two tackles on special teams. Johnson was waived by Pittsburgh on August 30, 2022,” the team wrote in a press release Monday.

“A 23-year-old native of Dallas, TX, Johnson attended Texas A&M University (2017-20) where he appeared in 47 games (23 starts) and registered 210 tackles, 6.5 sacks, four passes defensed, three forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and one interception.

“Watson originally entered the NFL after signing with the Atlanta Falcons as an undrafted free agent on May 2, 2022. He was waived by Atlanta on August 30, 2022,” the released continued about the latter player.

“A 24-year-old native of Snellville, GA, Watson attended the University of Texas at San Antonio (2019-21) after transferring from Hutchinson (KS) Community College. Watson appeared in 37 games (24 starts) as a tight end at UTSA and registered 25 receptions for 297 yards and two touchdowns. “

The roster moves mean that the red & gold have only one spot remaining on their practice squad this season.

Undrafted rookie running back Abram Smith also tried out for the 49ers Monday, a sign that the team may want further insurance at the position after Trey Sermon was claimed by the Eagles last week.

Other Notes From Monday’s Practice

The best news of the day was the return of All-Pro WR Deebo Samuel to the practice field. Samuel had missed out on last week’s sessions with a bruise to the back of his knee. The wideout told the media Monday that he felt 100% heading into the regular season opener in Chicago, excited about the prospects of this year’s team.

“This team is as good as we want it to be, meaning, everybody is firing on all cylinders, everybody is where they need to be,” Samuel said, via Cam Inman of the San Jose Mercury News. “We’re a team that’s going to be knocking right on the door. We have the players, we have the coaches, we have the mindset.”

Samuel and Rocklin native Brandon Aiyuk will lead the way as the top receivers on the team. Jauan Jennings will man the No.3 role, while rookie Danny Gray and Ray-Ray McCloud round out the group with their elite speed.

But while Samuel returned, there was still no sign of OL Daniel Brunskill Monday. The veteran has not practiced since suffering a hamstring strain in the preseason opener against the Green Bay Packers. His absence leaves the team without their backup center, a role that newly-signed Blake Hance, or Keaton Sutherland will most likely be asked to fill.

Additionally, defensive back Dontae Johnson (ribs) is out of the blue, no-contact jersey he’s donned recently in practice, but linebacker Dre Greenlaw was seen wearing one Monday. Dealing with an arm/elbow issue, the starting linebacker missed practice last week but there have been not indications it will keep it out of Sunday’s opener.

Linebacker Oren Burks (knee) also did not practice. The 49ers will issue their first injury report of the season on Wednesday.

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