It's clear by now that the 49ers are taking a quantitative approach to their position group hit hardest by injuries. With top wide receivers Michael Crabtree and Mario Manningham away from the practice field, San Francisco's brass is giving a host of offseason and in-camp pickups a chance to find their niche in the offense.
On Friday, with four of their 12 relatively healthy receivers rehabbing minor injuries, the team signed veteran free agents Austin Collie and Lavelle Hawkins. By Sunday, a group of four, headlined by Kyle Williams and his recovered hamstring, were back at practice, but offseason pickup Charly Martin won't be joining them on Tuesday.
Martin, who was claimed off waivers from the Seahawks in July, was waived in the morning to make room for re-signed punter Colton Schmidt. Martin impressed with a few acrobatic catches during training camp but ultimately faced an uphill climb at a position led by summer trade acquisition Anquan Boldin, who – phew – appears in tip, top physical shape.
CSNBayArea.com's Matt Maiocco, who detailed the team's group of pass-catchers, asked offensive coordinator Greg Roman how the 49ers would logistically evaluate all of their options before the regular season commences.
"Boy it's exciting to have some guys out there healthy, running around, a little bit of depth there," Roman said. "It's just something we meet on and we'll come up with a plan. Really haven't nailed that down just yet, but everybody's going to have an opportunity."
As for Williams, who was listed as the No. 2 receiver on the team's first, albeit unofficial depth chart, Roman said no decision had been made regarding Thursday night's preseason opener against the Broncos at Candlestick Park.
"He's doing well, he's back to practice, he's coming along," the 49ers play-caller said. "But, as far as playing him in the game, that's something we'll have to make a decision on later."
More on San Francisco's preseason preparation can be found in today's Morning Tailgate.
Mike Sando of ESPN.com parsed through NFC West depth charts.
Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee provided a practice report of training camp's 10th day.
Cam Inman and Daniel Brown of the San Jose Mercury News detailed Eric Reid's latest successes.
Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle talked about Reid's potential test facing Peyton Manning.
Kevin Lynch of SFGate.com reviewed San Francisco's golden years seen through John McVay's eyes.
49ers.com discussed the all-around improvement of team-first right tackle Anthony Davis.
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