John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan held a joint conference call following Saturday's 1 p.m. PT roster deadline. The San Francisco 49ers roster now sits at 53 players with more roster moves expected in the coming days. Here's what you need to know.
1. Jerick McKinnon Hurt on Saturday
The 49ers dodged several bullets during the preseason, but the team may have lost a key piece on Saturday. McKinnon got hurt cutting on air during the last play of practice. Non-contact injuries are always a cause for serious concern. He'll have an MRI immediately, but it's pretty clear that he won't be available for the start of the season. It's going to be the Alfred Morris and Matt Breida show.
"It looked awkward. We're concerned about it," Shanahan said. "We don't have an MRI done so we don't know for sure. He's going to get that done right now."
2. More Moves on the Way
San Francisco could be in the market for a running back should an MRI prove the worst-case scenario for McKinnon. Marcell Harris is another candidate to move to IR, which would open up a roster spot.
3. Calling about Khalil
There were some reports that the 49ers were involved in the Khalil Mack sweepstakes. Lynch didn't provide much detail into the team's level of interest.
"We would have been foolish not to (look into it)," Lynch said. "The guy is a spectacular player, and we've always said that we're going to exhaust every option to improve our team. We did that. We went in aggressively, but also knew that we had to set some parameters. Somebody else landed him, and we're excited about our team."
4. Keeping the Best 53
Lynch and Shanahan weren't kidding when they said that money wouldn't impact roster decisions. Cutting Jeremiah Attaochu and Jonathan Cooper confirmed that. Both players have guaranteed money, and they were cut anyway. Letting go of Cooper indicates that Erik Magnuson (hamstring) may be back sooner rather than later. The decision to cut Attaochu came down to dependability.
"Jerry was a guy we were excited (about), unfortunately, due to some injuries during camp, we just didn't get that many opportunities to correctly evaluate him," Lynch said. "When you go into the regular season, dependability in terms of knowing a guy is going to be out there is important, and we just didn't have that feeling. We made a tough decision but one we felt we had to."
5. George Kittle is "Good to Go"
Shanahan confirmed that Kittle (shoulder) was a full participant in practice on Saturday, as was Breida (shoulder). It was the first full practice for both players.
6. Battle of the Cole's
One of the prominent position battles down the stretch of the preseason was between Cole Hikutini and Cole Wick for the third tight end spot. Shanahan explained why Wick won that competition.
"He beat him out over the last couple of weeks," the coach said. "Both of them got hurt early during training camp. Hikutini started off in the lead, and Wick was a bit behind because of a knee injury. Once he came back, he took advantage of his opportunity. He blocked really well in practice, and he blocked really well in the games. It was a tough decision, but he won the competition."