The 49ers announced their starting 53-man roster Tuesday, but haven’t finished maneuvering or finalizing anything yet.
While there is a waiver claims process taking place on Wednesday, San Francisco isn’t likely to be active there given where they rank in the waiver priority. At 1:00 pm PT, they will be able to start moving players to IR, which will open up a few spots on the roster.
Players who go IR after initially making the 53-man roster may receive a return designation and return to the active roster after at least four weeks. Teams can bring back players eight times during the season. Last year, San Francisco ran out of return designations, so they might be more diligent in their use this year.
Matt Barrows of the Athletic reported defensive end Austin Bryant and defensive lineman Kerry Hyder Jr. expected to re-sign with San Francisco after Tuesday’s release, meaning at least two players are likely to go on the disabled list Wednesday afternoon.
There are four players who are candidates for the disabled list to clear roster spots:
The 49ers kicker’s plans were thwarted when both Moody and Zane Gonzalez they were injured during the final week of preseason. Moody, the 99th pick in this year’s draft, is dealing with a quadriceps strain that could force him to miss the start of the regular season. If San Francisco isn’t sure he’s healthy or that his injury could hinder him long-term, they might opt to put him on IR and keep a healthy kicker on the roster until they have confidence in the rookie.
WR Ray-Ray McCloud (wrist)
McCloud broke his wrist during training camp. The eight-week schedule initially given by head coach Kyle Shanahan would have put McCloud on track to return around Week 4, making the receiver a prime IR candidate. Shanahan has since indicated that McCloud could return before then, but if you think he’ll miss more than two or three games, it’s easy to see him on the disabled list.
Gray suffered a sprained AC joint in his shoulder during spring training and no timetable has been given for his return, but Shanahan made it sound like he might be out for a while. He’s in a similar situation to McCloud in that missing two or three games should keep him off the disabled list, but if he’s going to come in at a longer range than that, the team could put him on IR to open up a spot at Template.
DE Robert Beal Jr. (hamstring)
Beal missed much of camp with a hamstring injury and was unable to play in any preseason action. Given his lack of work prior to the year, it wouldn’t be a huge surprise if the 49ers put him on IR and didn’t bring him back unless they had a need at defensive end.