Roster realities and injury situation

Only one roster move by the Niners on Thursday, with several more to come on a player's day off Friday. This one was completely expected – quarterback Cade McNown will undergo season-ending shoulder surgery under the direction of team doctor Michael Dillingham at 3:30 p.m. today and will immediately be placed on injured reserve. "That's our only move for today," Niners coach Steve Mariucci said early Thursday. "We go from 65 (players) to 64." The Niners must get to 53 by 1 p.m. Sunday.

They won't take nearly that long to make most of their roster decisions.


"I've already met with all the coaches and got their input as to how we stack up by position," Mariucci said. "And Terry (general manager Donahue) and I will get together this afternoon and start deciding where we go. We will cut it down prior to (the deadline). We will not have 65 for the Saturday practice. We will have less than 65."


Actually, after McNown is placed on injured reserve, the 49ers will have 66 players still on their roster, since they still get two NFL Europe exemptions up to Sunday's deadline. One of those players – running back Jamal Robertson – is making a serious bid for a roster spot. Because of injuries at linebacker, Cornelius Anthony also has a legitimate shot.


The Niners, coming off Wednesday's impressive victory over San Diego in their preseason finale, returned to their Santa Clara facility Thursday morning to begin their week of preparations leading to next Thursday's season opener against the New York Giants.


"I want them thinking about the Giants now when they're lying awake at night," Mariucci said.


Mariucci will be lying awake at night throughout the upcoming week thinking about his injury situation. Here how it stacks up as the countdown begins to the regular season, and the status of injured players for the Giants game.


Defensive end Bobby Setzer (toe) probable; cornerback Rashad Holman (ribs) questionable; receiver Cedrick Wilson (strained ribs) questionable; linebacker Jeff
Ulbrich (knee) out at least two more weeks; guard Ron Stone (elbow) probable and will practice today; defensive end Sean Moran (knee) probable; defensive tackle Jim Flanigan (hamstring) probable; defensive tackle Reggie McGrew (elbow) probable; fullback Fred Beasley (lower back) probable; defensive end John Engelberger (appendicitis) probable, will practice next week; receiver Tai Streets (groin) probable; linebacker Rasheed Saleem (left quad) questionable.


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