Biggest Surprises From 49ers Roster Cutdown Day

Aug 31, 2022, 11:36 AM | Updated: 2:28 pm

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Nate Sudfeld (7) hands the ball to San Francisco 49ers running back...

HOUSTON, TX - AUGUST 25: San Francisco 49ers quarterback Nate Sudfeld (7) hands the ball to San Francisco 49ers running back Jordan Mason (41) in the second quarter during the NFL preseason game between the San Francisco 49ers and Houston Texans on August 25, 2022, at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Leslie Plaza Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

(Photo by Leslie Plaza Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Twentyfour hours have now passed since the NFL’s 53-man rosters had to be officially set for the start of the regular season. Many interesting moves were made by teams, including the San Francisco 49ers, loading up at several positions while leaving others to be a bit more desired. Difficult decisions are bond to lead to questionable roster choices but the 49ers seem to be gearing up for a run heavy-season with Trey Lance under center.

Yes you read that tweet right, five RBs and four TEs grace the 2022 roster for the Red & Gold, an amount of depth that is usually luxurious to teams.

With that being said, let’s take a look at some of the biggest surprises from the 49ers’ cutdown day.

Three Quarterbacks

NFL teams typically carry three quarterbacks on the roster to provide insurance for not only the starter, but also the backup.

The 49ers are usually not one of those teams.

Last season, the Red & Gold housed starter Jimmy Garoppolo and rookie QB Trey Lance on the main roster, while keeping Nate Sudfeld on the practice squad. This allowed the team flexibility with other positions, able to stack the defensive line or secondary depth.

This season is different.

The 49ers have Lance as the starter, Garoppolo as the backup and rookie Brock Purdy in relief all on the active roster. Jimmy G was the biggest surprise of the whole preseason as the veteran signal-caller agreed to a restructured contract with the 49ers to stay on as the backup. The move had a trickle-down effect, allowing San Francisco to house the cheaper option in Purdy rather than Sudfeld, a decision that happened because Purdy won the job according to head coach Kyle Shanahan.

“We were really happy with Nate, but Brock won that job,” Shanahan stated Tuesday.

The 49ers have been burned by injuries to the position in years. Garoppolo alone has missed time to an ACL tear and a right ankle sprain that kept him out for the remainder of the 2018 and 2020 seasons. Lance suffered a fracture to his pinky finger prior to the 2021 regular season.

The point is, the 49ers are valuing depth at the most important position this year, not the worse idea.

Five Tailbacks

Going off the above tweet, the Red & Gold have five ball carriers out of the backfield this season. SIX!

The four running backs include Elijah Mitchell, Jeff Wilson Jr., Tyrion Davis-Price, and Jordan Mason. Throw in fullback Kyle Juszczyk and you have five, throw in Deebo Samuel and/or Trey Lance and you have seven potential runners out of the backfield in 2022.

The biggest surprise was the inclusion of undrafted rookie Jordan Mason to the 53-man roster. Not because he wasn’t effective during the preseason, which he was, but because the team already has so many ball carriers that the question remains if the rookies will actually see game-time this season.

Injuries have plagued this team in the past and continue to do so with Mitchell missing the entire preseason with a hamstring strain. The coaching staff has ensured that the second-year running back will be ready for week 1 in Chicago, but it’s still good to have plenty of backups for an offense that ranked top five in rushing attempts in 2021.

Shanahan and the coaching staff love to run the ball and they’ll get to do that again this season.

Editor’s Note: This section has been updated after the 49ers cut running back Trey Sermon. 

Four Tight Ends (Possibly)

Another surprise move was the inclusion of four tight ends to the 53-man roster.

The current depth chart says only three TEs, George Kittle, Ross Dwelley and Charlie Woerner, have made the active roster but news broke shortly after the deadline Tyler Kroft would also be added after the team moves two players over the IR. That makes for four tight ends on a roster that loves to run the football.


All three backups have regular season experience as the secondary option, and as an occasional starter when injuries occur. Former All-Pro Kittle missed significant time in 2021 due to a calf injury, possibly indicating the desire to house a bonus pass-catcher/blocker on the roster.

Never hope for the worse, but it’s clear the 49ers don’t want to be burned on the offensive side of the ball in 2022.

For all things 49ers and NFL, stay locked in here on Sactown Sports.


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