For a team that is on a bye for Week 9 of the season, the San Francisco 49ers have been very active when it comes to player movements. Early last week, the 49ers activated rookie defensive lineman Tank Carradine from the reserved list up to the active 53-man roster, and released linebacker Jermaine Cunningham in the process. Later in the week, the 49ers released wide receiver Marlon Moore in a move that opens the way for Mario Manningham to be activated to the 53-man roster in the coming days.
On Saturday, the 49ers made another move that will open a spot for a player currently either on the reserved list or physically unable to perform (PUP) list, as they released linebacker and special teams contributor Nate Stupar. The 49ers intend to re-sign Stupar onto their practice squad if he is not claimed, but by releasing Stupar, this is a clear sign that as the 49ers enter the second half of the season, they are getting stronger and adding more depth to the squad with the return of a potential key contributor.
The corresponding move, which one can expect for the 49ers to make, is that of activating cornerback Eric Wright, who has been back practicing with the team here in the past few weeks before the bye. By activating Wright, the 49ers will be strengthening the depth of their secondary, as Wright will give the 49ers and defensive coordinator Vic Fangio another reliable cornerback whom they can count on to cover, especially considering the 49ers go up against a team like the New Orleans Saints in a few weeks.
In the first half of the season, the 49ers were having to make do with what they had in certain positions and hope that they suffered no significant injury, which would weaken them even further. Now, with a 6-2 record and having won five straight, the 49ers find themselves in a position where they will benefit from having key players returning and ready to contribute. With each corresponding roster move being made, the signs of a key player coming back for the stretch run is an added bonus for a team trending upwards.