NFC West: Joe Jon Finley
The 49ers' practice squad began to take shape when the team signed six players released Saturday.
San Francisco carried only five defensive linemen and five receivers on its 53-man roster. Those are low figures.
The defensive-line number reflects Justin Smith's status as an outside linebacker. Still, the 49ers signed two defensive linemen to their practice squad. A third released defensive lineman, LaJuan Ramsey, does not have practice-squad eligibility.
The chart shows every 49ers player with practice-squad eligibility.
The 49ers will presumably add to their numbers at receiver. Cam Colvin appeared to be a candidate for the practice squad, but the 49ers did not sign him immediately.
The team described veteran receiver Ashley Lelie, released Saturday, as a potential injury risk. Carrying him on the opening-day roster would have forced the 49ers to guarantee his salary. It's unclear if San Francisco might re-sign him heading into Week 2. The 49ers might not want him now, but can they find anyone better?
Losing Brian de la Puente probably hurt a little, but the 49ers had to keep second-round choice Chilo Rachal and fourth-rounder Cody Wallace. De la Puente started an exhibition game at guard for the 49ers this summer, but he was undrafted, so he goes.
Update: The 49ers added Joe Toledo to their practice squad Monday, Sept. 1, Chrissy Mauck of 49ers.com notes.
Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
The chart shows each of the 49ers' players with practice-squad eligibility, according to the team.
Practice-squad rules can be confusing, and exceptions sometimes apply to relatively experienced players.
I've categorized each player based on his perceived likelihood of earning a spot on the 53-man roster. Those are rough characterizations. Teams still have not made decisions. It's conceivable that a player listed as a "keeper" could face his release.
As noted: Rosters spots are serious business for NFL players lacking job security. For some, the next 30 hours or so will determine whether they'll earn $17,352.94 per week or whatever the real world pays.
The minimum NFL salary is $295,000. Players get paid in 17 installments, one for every week they spend as a paid member of the organization.
NFL teams must trim rosters from 75 players to 53 players by Saturday afternoon. Teams can establish eight-man practice squads beginning Sunday. Practice-squad players earn a minimum of $5,200 per week during the regular season and playoffs.
Once a player signs with a practice squad, he can practice with the team. He becomes eligible to play in games only if a team signs him to its 53-man roster. Practice-squad players are free to sign with any team's active roster at any time during the season.