Jim Harbaugh Monday was critical of his team's 29th-ranked punt coverage after it allowed big returns in consecutive weeks to the Eagles and Chiefs. But he did mention a player that stood out in a positive way.
"Kassim Osgood," Harbaugh said, "he’s our best player on special teams, especially on the coverage units. He’s doing a great job."
The 49ers released Osgood Wednesday, in conjunction with bringing back Bubba Ventrone. Osgood had a very good year in 2013 as a gunner in punt coverage, but missed a tackle on Darren Sproles, and was flagged for a face mask, on the speedster's touchdown return up the right sideline in Week 4.
Osgood has been credited with one tackle in 2014 after finishing fourth on the team with seven last season.
Tuesday marks the third time Osgood has been released since the roster was cut down to 53 players at the end of August. He was released in order to make room for guard Alex Boone back on Sept. 6. Two days later, following the Week 1's win over the Cowboys, Osgood was brought back after running back LaMichael James was released.
As the week goes on, Osgood could return to the roster again if the 49ers decide to release a player that hasn't contributed this season. Third quarterback Josh Johnson, who has been released and re-signed once already, would be a likely candidate.
DAWSON WINS SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Following his critical five-field goal performance in Sunday's 22-17 win over the Chiefs, 49ers kick Phil Dawson won NFC special teams player of the week.
It marks the fifth time the 16-year veteran was won the award and the third time he has done so as a 49er (Weeks 14 and 17 last season). It's also the fifth time he made five field goals without a miss. Dawson made kicks of 31, 55, 52, 27 and 30 yards, becoming the first 49ers kicker since Jeff Wilkins in 1996 to make five tries without a miss.
Dawson has made all 11 of his field goals in Levi's Stadium after missing his first two attempts against the Broncos in Week 2 of the preseason. He has done so despite not having a grasp of the stadium's swirling wind patterns in gusty Santa Clara.
"No way. Living on the edge, man," Dawson said. "Just trying to make it one kick at a time. I’m literally learning every time I go out there. Hey, that’s just kind of the way it is."
Dawson said he received the news of the award from his two sons in Austin, Texas.
"They’re into all the fantasy stuff and follow things closer than probably I do. I get most of my information not from ESPN but from my two boys," Dawson said.
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