Aldon Smith, NaVorro Bowman, Glenn Dorsey and Marcus Lattimore don't count against the 49ers' 53-man roster now, but they could in coming months. Many of you (ok, two of you) have asked how the 49ers will make room for the additions in the second half of the season. Injuries obviously will dictate some moves. For example, if Colin Kaepernick turns his ankle and can’t play, the 49ers wouldn’t cut Josh Johnson. That being said, here's the best guess:
C Daniel Kilgore: He's still on the active roster. When he goes on injured reserve, a roster spot will open up. Some of you have insisted that Kilgore's spot will go to an offensive lineman. I don't think so. The 49ers would still have three linemen in reserve: Joe Looney, Jonathan Martin and Dillon Farrell.
QB Josh Johnson: Obviously, he's expendable given the fact the 49ers already have released him three times. (Or is it two? Or four? I lost count). Jim Harbaugh says Johnson is “neck and neck” with Blaine Gabbert for the No. 2 quarterback job. But Harbaugh has zero credibility when it comes to what he says publicly about players. Every player Harbaugh has ever been asked about is doing a fantastic job. This includes A.J. Jenkins, Jon Baldwin and LaMichael James.
S Ray Ventrone: The 49ers played their first five games without Ventrone, who has been on the other end of the revolving roster door with Johnson. Ventrone technically is a safety, but the 49ers would have to have to have an abnormally large rash of injuries at the position for him to see the field. And yet … as soon as the 49ers brought Ventrone back to the roster, their wobbly coverage units stiffened. It's also notable that none of the players coming back to the roster will play special teams.
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S L.J. McCray: The undrafted rookie has not made the impact on special teams the 49ers were hoping for. He was inactive for the Week 6 game against the Rams before a rash of injuries in the secondary, including to fellow rookie Jimmie Ward, prompted the 49ers to activate McCray against Denver. McCray ranks 11th on Brad Seely's running tally of special teams standouts. As is the case with Ventrone, however, the 49ers still would need bodies on special teams when Smith, Bowman, et al. are activated.
DL Tony Jerod-Eddie or Demarcus Dobbs: Jerod-Eddie has played 132 defensive snaps, fourth most among 49ers defensive linemen. Yet he has four tackles, tied for 19th on the 49ers. Removing one of these players would open a roster spot and might allow either Quinton Dial or Tank Carradine to, you know, actually see the field this year. The trade deadline is next week. Any team in need of a young defensive lineman should contact Trent Baalke at 408-555-DEAL.
LB Nick Moody: He's fifth on the depth chart at inside linebacker. Still, he's young and has been productive on special teams so far. He ranks fifth on Seely's list.
WR Quinton Patton: Yes, he's been inactive for every game this season. But given the fact that Michael Crabtree and Brandon Lloyd are only signed through this season and Anquan Boldin is signed through next season, it would seem that the 49ers might want to hold onto their young receivers.
Read Matt Barrows’ blogs and archives at www.sacbee.com/sf49ers.