49ers have plan at punt returner, won't reveal who it will be


The 49ers have something up their sleeve, and they're staying very quiet. 

No, we're not talking quarterbacks. 

Following the release of the 49ers' initial 53-man roster Tuesday afternoon, one position has yet to be filled ... at least publicly. 

Richie James Jr., Travis Benjamin, River Cracraft and Nsimba Webster failed to make the final roster, so who does that leave to return punts?

With the return of Benjamin to the practice squad Wednesday afternoon, it appears as if it'll be either be him starting wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk or possibly another receiver on the roster. 

Both general manager John Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan spoke to the media Wednesday and were tight-lipped about what the team has planned at the position. 

“Well, we have a plan and there's a number of guys who've been working on that during the preseason," Lynch said when asked about the returner position. "We feel quite good about our plan."

"That's important to us. We want to make that an asset for this team, and I feel very strongly about it.”

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The plan? It's one of the receiver's jobs to lose. Which one? That remains to be seen, although we can anticipate it being Aiyuk given the praise he has received in camp for his development at the position. 

“We didn't feel that we had (a returner) who could beat out our receivers," Shanahan said. "You’ve got to cut a receiver to do that. So usually you want one of your receivers or corners to do it. That's kind of how it's been everywhere I've ever been."


Whether it's Aiyuk, another receiver on the roster, or possibly even Benjamin if he were to be promoted from the practice squad, the 49ers have a plan. They just won't let us know quite yet. 

“You’ll see," Shanahan said.

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