SANTA CLARA, Calif. – The San Francisco 49ers finalized their initial roster cuts Wednesday. Considering the 49ers remarkable depth at running back, the news was pretty good for East Texas native Jeff Wilson.
After a 20 carry, 100-yard performance in their final preseason loss against the Los Angeles Chargers, the 49ers decided to place Jeff Wilson on the team's practice squad. Wilson didn't make the roster, but his place on the practice squad means the 49ers can pull him into action any time.
As he has done all preseason, the former Elkhart High School star did what he could to put himself in a competitive spot.
Wilson's night was highlighted by an early 41-yard touchdown run to give the 49ers a 7-6 lead over the Chargers. A designed stretch to the left side of the line ended with Wilson reversing field and following quarterback C.J. Bethard into the end-zone, after outrunning several pursuing defenders.
In three games, Wilson amassed 41 carries (fifth in the NFL) for 178 yards and four touchdowns (first).
Despite some impressive stats, Wilson waged an uphill battle, with Tevin Coleman, Matt Breida, Raheem Mostert and Kyle Juszczyk plugged in the backfield. With that much depth at running back, the 49ers decided to place Wilson on waivers.
“Remarkably,” said 49ers contributing writer Elvis Jerez, Wilson found his way back.
“Wilson could be a powerful complement in the 49ers' stacked backfield,” Jerez said. “Wilson looks more aggressive and durable. He seems fearless and determined against either main or object.”
The 49ers want to employ a powerful ground attack in 2019. In week 1, they play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. a bottom-10 run defense in 2018.
Wilson could provide a more dynamic, aggressive pass catcher in head coach Kyle Shanahan's scheme.
One thing's sure: Jeff Wilson will keep his head down and his eyes on the prize.