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NFL Roster Cuts 2021: 5 big surprises in the San Francisco 49ers' initial 53-man squad

NFC Championship - Green Bay Packers v San Francisco 49ers
NFC Championship - Green Bay Packers v San Francisco 49ers
Ian Van Roy
ANALYST

San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan have joined other NFL coaches and general managers around the league breathing a collective sigh of relief.

The final 53-man rosters have now been finalized. While there were a number of odd cuts around the league, who were the surprise cuts on the 49ers roster?

5 big shocks on the San Francisco 49ers' initial 53-man roster

#1 - Only two quarterbacks

With most bridge quarterback situations, it only makes sense to keep the bridge quarterback and the understudy. However, the 49ers had a situation in which it made sense to keep three quarterbacks. Garoppolo's well-documented injury history was the catalyst for the 49ers' decision to draft Trey Lance. The 49ers are practically expecting Garoppolo to be out for a while intermittently.

If Garoppolo misses a large chunk of the NFL season due to injury, the 49ers will only have Trey Lance to lean on with no backup in tow. With Nate Sudfeld, that scenario was already covered. However, with only two quarterbacks, the 49ers could find themselves in a hole should something happen to Garoppolo and Lance.

#2 - Wayne Gallman cut

In addition to Garoppolo, the 49ers have one of the most injury-riddled backfields in the NFL. It would make sense for the 49ers to keep as many as possible.

At the very least, it made sense to keep an industry veteran like Wayne Gallman around. Gallman was also coming off his best season in 2020 in which he earned 682 yards and six touchdowns while racking up a 4.6 yards-per-carry average.

#3 - Nsimba Webster cut

When Nsimba Webster was acquired, many claimed that the 49ers had found a steal. Webster had plenty of experience as a returner and seemed like a shoe-in fit on the 49ers roster.

Webster, the successor to Cooper Kupp for the Eastern Washington Eagles in college, seemed poised to find stability with the 49ers after moving on from the Rams. Instead, after just three preseason games with the team, Webster is looking for his next opportunity.

#4 - River Cracraft cut

Most would agree the San Francisco 49ers are not exactly the Kansas City Chiefs at wide receiver, especially lower down the depth chart. Their bar for entry is lower than a number of other teams around the league.

However, the hard-working River Cracraft could not catch a break. Odds are high that he lands at the top of a practice squad, that is, if he doesn't get added somewhere else first.

#5 - Only three tight ends

Three tight ends is a light load for a roster that prides itself on running the ball. With only three tight ends, any injury to the position could cripple the room in formations requiring three tight ends. If there is an injury in the tight end room, the running game will suffer in jumbo packages.

Las Vegas Raiders v San Francisco 49ers
Las Vegas Raiders v San Francisco 49ers

Of course, the 49ers can still grab someone and throw him into the lineup, but that is asking for problems. Currently, the room is made up of George Kittle, Ross Dwelly and Charlie Woerner.

Edited by Colin D'Cunha
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