The San Francisco 49ers have gotten their team roster down to the 53-man requirement and have let go of some players who I thought could have had an impact on this team -- including WR Chris Owusu, RB Rock Cartwright, and LB Cam Johnson. Each of those player mentioned fell victim to an overload of talent at their given positions, but none more so than Cartwright and the running back position -- Johnson was signed to the 49ers' practice squad along with seven others.
Cartwright was slated to be a possible special teams player but with the 49ers deciding to keep five running backs on their roster -- Frank Gore, Kendall Hunter, Brandon Jacobs, Anthony Dixon, and LaMichael James -- sheer numbers prevented Cartwright's inclusion. Not to mention the 49ers also have running back Jewel Hampton on the reserve/non football injury list.
As for the five remaining running backs, I'm not sure what the deal is with the overload. They are a talented bunch, but not all five are going to see all that much playing time. If I had to guess how things will play out, this is how it would go:
Gore would get the majority of the carries and will remain the team's number one running back. In order to help preserve Gore, we will see Jacobs -- when he is healthy -- in short-yardage situations. Hunter will make his way into the game on third down and possibly to relieve Gore when needed. (I was thoroughly impressed with the improvements Hunter made this offseason and preseason compared to last year.) As for James, I see him as a return man on special teams and being used in very specific plays designed to play to his strengths. As for Dixon -- who I thought ran the ball well this preseason -- I'm not sure where he fits on the 53-man roster. Perhaps he'll play some special teams coverage with the loss of Blake Costanzo, and get a carry or two now and again, but that's all I really see in terms of him contributing.
I think the 49ers could have signed Dixon to the practice squad and opened a roster spot for another defender or even for Cartwright. The 49ers have made their decision and as fans we will have to wait and see what kind of contributions Dixon and the rest of the running back quintet can make.
Food for thought: Will Anthony Dixon have any impact -- positive or negative -- with the 49ers or is he going to see such limited playing time that he won't have an impact at all? What do you think about the 49ers' five running backs?
David is co-founder of wrapupp sports blog where fresh content is posted daily and present sports blogs and sports opinions -- all with a West Coast bias. Growing up in the Bay Area, David is a huge supporter of all the local sports teams; the Giants, Athletics, Warriors, Sharks, 49ers, and Raiders. His one fault, admittedly, as many of his friends and family would say, is his love for the Los Angeles Lakers. Growing up, Magic Johnson was his favorite basketball player and he fell in love with the team. He chalks it up to, "Not knowing any better". Now his love for sports has turned just as academic as it is intuitive and he follows most all sports all over the nation.
You can follow David on Twitter: @officialwrapupp
49ers.com. 49ers Release 21 Players; Trade S Jones. NFL 2012.
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