San Francisco 49ers

49ers Q&A: Explaining 46-man rule; does Hayne play?; television options

Matt Barrows: @mattbarrows, read more about the team at

San Francisco 49ers running back Jarryd Hayne (38) against the Dallas Cowboys during the second half of an NFL preseason football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Aug. 23, 2015.
San Francisco 49ers running back Jarryd Hayne (38) against the Dallas Cowboys during the second half of an NFL preseason football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Aug. 23, 2015. AP

Roy Prasad ‏@royprasad: Hi Matt, what is the rationale for letting only 46 players suit up for a game? Why not the full 53 man roster? TIA, Roy

ANSW: Hi, Roy. Plenty of you have asked that as there has been a lot of attention given lately to whether notable 49ers like Jarryd Hayne and Arik Armstead will be in uniform today. The answer has to do with the vagaries of injuries. That is, it evens the playing field if one team enters a game more banged up than the other. (Given that the injured players would be among the seven inactives per game). It seems like an odd rule in Week 1 because teams generally have few injuries. In fact, the players who are on the 49ers' and Vikings' injury reports are listed as probable.

@SteveOrosz: What happens if first MNF game runs late?

ANSW: If the Falcons-Eagles game hasn't ended, I'm told there may be an up-to-five-minute delay for the 49ers and Vikings kickoff. If the first game goes longer than that, 49ers-Vikings will start on ESPN2 and then shift to ESPN after the first commercial that follows the point at which ESPN joins. Of course, the game also will be held locally on KPIX. Viewers can watch that from the get go and not have to change channels.

Winn Carroll ‏@Winn3317: any word on who will be the PR/KR for the Niners tonight?

ANSW: We’ll probably know that via the inactive list (see: question below this one). The beatwriters had dinner Thursday night. There were six of us. I asked the table, “Who here thinks Jarryd Hayne is in uniform Monday?” Three people raised his hand. For the record, I was one of them. My rationale: The 49ers can’t afford to keep a special teams weapon like that on the bench. That is, their offense may need every advantage in field position it can get.

CoryTheCoolest ‏@Cory_Coolest: Do the 49ers have to release an updated depth chart before the game or will the Vikings find out starters during the game?

ANSW: No depth chart must be released, but it becomes pretty obvious during warmups -- about 20 min. before the game -- when the teams line up in the formations with which they will start the game. Teams also must submit their inactive list 90 minutes before kickoff. As Jim Tomsula noted last week, if a team has nine offensive lineman in uniform and only three receivers, it gives you a pretty good indication of their intent.

Adam Wolfgang ‏@adamwolfgang: fantastic, I live in Portland. Have you seen enough to feel the game management flaws from the last couple years are gone?

ANSW: Put it this way: If they get a delay-of-game penalty or have to burn a time out just before the snap, it will be noteworthy because they've worked hard to prevent that. Previously it merely would have been routine.

eremy ‏@catchjeremy: If you were the Vikings OC, how would you attack the 49ers defense?

ANSW: I'd have plenty of screens built in to my game plan to catch the 49ers off guard when they blitz. But I don't think Norv Turner needs my help. (If you do, Norv, I will be in the press box. Ask for: “Matt ... the handsome, smart Matt.”)

Os Cruz ‏@OsLovesBeer: how much of Pop-Tartt do you anticipate in the nickle LB role?

ANSW: Mmmm. I think you'll be seeing Jaquiski Tarttin that role this season. But this appears to be one of the games in which the 49ers WILL NOT be in nickel defense a lot. That is, if Adrian Peterson gets as many carries as everyone expects, the 49ers will need both NT Ian Williams and ILB Michael Wilhoite in the game.

ShaqO ‏@Shaqoh: where do I send the questions too?

ANSW: Don't worry about it. You did just fine.

Matt Barrows: @mattbarrows, read more about the team at

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