The question remains for the 49ers on who is cut, released or even traded when injured players return. The 49ers will have Eric Wright and Mario Manningham come off the non-football injury list and physical unable to perform list where they must be activated by November 6th.
Not only are Wright and Manningham returning, but Michael Crabtree and Nick Moody will come off the PUP and injured reserve/designated for return lists. Lastly, Aldon Smith will officially be on the 53-man roster this week after not being listed last week due to a roster exemption.
With all several players on pace to be on the 53-man roster for Week 10, here are some candidates on who could be leaving the team soon:
CB Nnamdi Asomugha: It was a good run initially for the former All-Pro cornerback, but Asomugha’s chances of staying on the team are slim with Eric Wright returning from the non-football injury list. Asomugha didn’t play poorly, but he didn’t stand out in tackling which is what buried him on the roster. After being hurt with an injury in Week 3, Tramaine Brock has excelled as the team’s nickel cornerback and Asomugha remains a healthy scratch for five consecutive weeks.
QB McLeod Bethel-Thompson: The third string quarterback is very expendable where some teams will place that person on the practice squad. Bethel-Thompson still has eligibility and the 49ers will need to examine how important he could be or not. There have always been three quarterbacks on the 53-man roster in the Jim Harbaugh era.
WR Quinton Patton (to injured reserve): Patton suffered a fractured foot injury in Week 4 and it’s unclear how long he will be out. If the 49ers determine that his injury is too severe, he can be placed on the injured reserve and they can store him for next season.
WR Kassim Osgood: The 49ers could be forced to sacrifice any special teams players when Crabtree and Moody come back. Osgood has been decent on kick coverages and it’s unlikely that he is removed.
S Bubba Ventrone: Like Osgood, the 49ers have valued special teams with another veteran in Ventrone. Besides playing on coverage units, Ventrone provides extra blocking on punts for Andy Lee. He is listed here because there is an argument that Ventrone was one of the last players to make the team during the initial 53-man roster cuts.
DE Demarcus Dobbs: It wouldn’t be surprising if Dobbs is viewed as expendable with Tank Carradine and Quinton Dial on the defensive line. The 49ers tried him out at both TE and on the defensive line, but Dobbs is buried on both depth charts. Tony Jerod-Eddie’s versatility to play NT and DE is what keeps him on the team, while Dobbs is only a DE.
CB Darryl Morris: This is a long shot, but Morris was an undrafted free agent who was promoted from the practice squad in late September. He has done nothing but impress with his speed as a gunner and on kickoff coverages. With Morris being 23 years old, the team should value him to remain.
-DE Tank Carradine was activated on October 29 and he replaced LB Jermaine Cunningham.
-Both WR Marlon Moore and LB Nate Stupar were waived, making the roster currently sitting at 51 players. Aldon Smith will officially return as the roster exemption expires, but at least one more decision needs to be made in order to add Eric Wright and Mario Manningham.
-Nnamdi Asomugha was waived while Wright and Manningham were added.