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49ers set to make roster cuts, but many released will return

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Hasty and Gallman

The roster moves 49ers and every other NFL team makes to get from 80 players to the regular-season limit of 53 do not cut as deep as it might sounds.

The 49ers will deliver bad news to 27 players by the deadline on Tuesday at 1 p.m.

“It's always real difficult,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said on Monday. “You do it every year and I've seen it for a long time. But you know what it means to everyone and you know how hard these guys work to give himself a chance to make a team. 

“At the same time, you're so excited to get to your final team and to be done with the preseason and be done with all that. There's a lot of juice and buzz in the building with getting to our regular team and being able to start focusing completely on Week 1.”

But better days are coming for many of those who do not end up on the team’s initial 53-man roster.

The 49ers must cut their active roster to 53 players, but a day later they can add 16 players to the practice squad.

Now, the practice squad has turned into an extension of the active roster. This will be the second season in which teams are allowed to elevate up to two players from the practice squad for games without being required to make cuts to create roster space.

“So there's about 11 guys here that you have to say ‘bye’ to,” Shanahan said. “But I can't tell you in my four years here how many of those 11 guys I've said ‘bye’ to who end up coming back in the year at any time, whether it's the middle of the season or the playoffs.


“So you try to end it good and try to tell those guys how much you're counting on them to be in shape and be ready to come back.”

On Wednesday, there could be even fewer than 11 players who are sent home, as two defensive linemen appear ticketed to reserve lists and will remain with the 49ers and have chances to make impacts later in the season.

Defensive tackle Maurice Hurst appears likely to make the initial 53-man roster before going on injured reserve the next day. Hurst is expected to miss approximately the first month of the season with a high-ankle sprain.

Defensive end Jordan Willis is available to join the team for the seventh game after serving a seven-game suspension for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.

Good depth and solid competition have created decisions for Shanahan and general manager John Lynch at every position group, including quarterback.

The 49ers could keep just two quarterbacks — Jimmy Garoppolo and Trey Lance — on their 53-man roster. But they might also feel as if they cannot take any chances of losing third-stringer Nate Sudfeld, whom they chose over 2018 first-round pick Josh Rosen.

RELATED: Lance expected to miss week with fracture on throwing hand

Among the 49ers' biggest looming roster decisions:

—Running back: JaMycal Hasty or veteran Wayne Gallman Jr.?

—Wide receiver/punt returner: Travis Benjamin or Nsimba Webster?

—Defensive tackle: Kentavius Street or Zach Kerr or both?

—Linebacker: Marcell Harris or Jonas Griffith or both?

—Cornerback: Rookies Ambry Thomas and Deommodore Lenoir are likely safe, but is Dontae Johnson more game-ready?

—Safety: If Jaquiski Tartt is healthy, does youngster Jared Mayden get the nod over veterans Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Tavon Wilson?

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