San Francisco 49ers

49ers cut tracker: RB Joe Williams, DT Chris Jones, veteran receiver out, reports say

San Francisco 49ers running back Joe Williams (32) is forced out of bounds by Houston Texans linebacker Brian Peters (52) during the first half of a preseason NFL football game Saturday, Aug. 18, 2018, in Houston.
San Francisco 49ers running back Joe Williams (32) is forced out of bounds by Houston Texans linebacker Brian Peters (52) during the first half of a preseason NFL football game Saturday, Aug. 18, 2018, in Houston. AP

The 49ers on Friday began informing players that won’t make the final 53-man roster ahead of Saturday’s 1 p.m. deadline following the preseason finale against the Chargers. Here we’ll keep live updates as news comes in on the players released.

Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network reports the 49ers will waive running back Joe Williams, a fourth-round draft choice in 2017 who missed his rookie campaign following a preseason ankle injury. Williams was unable to capitalize on his opportunity in Year 2, rushing for 45 yards on 19 carries (2.4 average) in two preseason games before going down with a rib injury against Houston and missing the final two exhibition contests. Williams could be a candidate for the practice squad should he clear waivers.

Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area reports San Francisco will release defensive tackle Chris Jones, who was added to the team Aug. 22 after defensive lineman Cedric Thornton announced his retirement.

Matt Barrows of The Athletic reports the 49ers will not keep punter Jeff Locke, who was brought in to compete with Bradley Pinion and provide the team’s returners with a chance to practice against a left-footed punter.

Barrows also reports San Francisco will waive reserve tackle Darrell Williams Jr., who surrendered a pair of sacks early in Thursday’s preseason finale. The 49ers appear thin at tackle with top backup Garry Gilliam still working back from a concussion suffered in the preseason opener.

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Maiocco reports the 49ers will release reserve guard Chris Gonzalez, who played at San Jose State.

Barrows reports reserve offensive lineman Pace Murphy will not make the team. Murphy played both guard and tackle throughout training camp and the preseason. He could be a candidate for the practice squad.

Maiocco reports the 49ers will release veteran receiver Aldrick Robinson, 29, who made 19 receptions for 260 yards in 2017 with San Francisco. He scored two touchdowns but caught just 40 percent of his targets. San Francisco was his third stop playing for Shanahan after getting drafted by Washington in 2011 and following Shanahan to Atlanta in 2016. The writing was on the wall for Robinson when the club used a second-round draft pick on Washington standout Dante Pettis last spring.

Maiocco reports San Francisco will release running back Ja’Quan Gardner, who was signed this week to provide depth at running back after going undrafted out of Humboldt State. Gardner is from Ceres and played his high school ball at Central Valley High School where he was the Stanislaus District’s all-time leading rusher with 6,014 yards. He didn’t make it into Thursday’s finale on offense but did appear in three special teams snaps.

The 49ers announced they released quarterback Jack Heneghan, tight end Wes Saxton and defensive lineman Will Sutton. They also traded a 2019 seventh-round pick for Browns offensive tackle Shon Coleman, who started all 16 games at right tackle in 2017.

The 49ers ended their exhibition schedule with a last-second, 23-21 defeat to the Los Angeles Chargers. Chris Biderman breaks down the play of Reuben Foster and Solomon Thomas, as well as what's next for the roster.

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