The Panthers will be coming into town to take on the 49ers on Sunday afternoon. It's Week 1 of the NFL, part of the most anticipated time of the entire season.
The 49ers and their front office set the 53-man roster and I took a deep dive into it earlier on Tuesday Morning with the Monday Morning Blitz Edition V.
Now, let's take it one step further and see which players will not dress on Game Day. I'm sure there'll be a few that are surprising, but seven players won't be lacing up on Sunday, here they are:
DE Xavier Cooper
Seems like the most logical option to sit out for Week 1. Cooper was signed to the 49ers just recently and with the depth on the defensive line, I doubt Cooper sees any action for the first few weeks of the NFL season. I expect him to be part of the inactives for a while, until he starts to develop and show the coaching staff that he can really show up.
S Adrian Colbert
There's no reason to go into a game with five safeties, when realistically, no more than two or three will actually get into the game. Eric Reid will start at SS and Jimmie Ward at FS. Jaquiski Tartt can play a LB role in a dime defense, similar to Cardinals' Deone Bucanon. Lorenzo Jerome has out-performed Colbert, which means that the 7th-round pick is the odd one out. Expect this to be the case until Colbert develops or someone gets hurt.
WR Kendrick Bourne
I don't think the 49ers have six wide receivers on game day. Pierre Garcon, Marquise Goodwin, Trent Taylor and Aldrick Robinson will definitely be on the active roster due to their specific roles on the team. Victor Bolden Jr. has become a dangerous return man, so that'll likely elevate him over Bourne for the time being. Again an injury or Bourne's performance in practice will promote him, but for Week 1, he'll be on the outside looking in.
LB Brock Coyle
NaVorro Bowman and Reuben Foster will get a majority of the snaps, with Ray-Ray Armstrong as the primary backup. Coyle would be pivotal on special teams, but I think the 49ers can go ahead and use the extra spot at a different position. Look for the linebacker to continue to be left off the active game-day roster.
DT D.J. Jones
The rookie will most likely be left off the active roster for Week 1. They already have DeForest Buckner and Earl Mitchell, with Tank Carradine spelling them. Jones will likely see some time later this season, but for right now, he probably gets left off the active roster.
T Garry Gilliam
The former Seahawk will not step on the field for this Week 1 matchup against the Carolina Panthers. The reality is that the 49ers don't need two backup tackles. I think that John Theus is a better fit this week and is performing better thus far. I believe they definitely leave one of these players off and most likely it ends up being Gilliam.
LB Pita Taumoepenu
Another rookie who most likely won't get much time on the active roster this season is Pita Taumoepenu. With Aaron Lynch, Eli Harold and Dekoda Watson in the fold, "Pita T" is the odd one out and most likely won't get to dress for this first ever NFL game. I'm hoping at some point, the linebacker will get his chance, but I have doubts that it will be this week.
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