The San Francisco 49ers decided to not place a waiver claim on former Detroit Lions running back Ameer Abdullah Wednesday afternoon. The Lions waived Abdullah on Tuesday, and he was claimed by the Minnesota Vikings on Wednesday, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The Vikings had the 21st spot in waiver priority.
The decision to pass on Abdullah likely means the 49ers will promote either Jeff Wilson or Matt Dayes from the practice squad later this week. The team placed running back Raheem Mostert on injured reserve with a fractured forearm. Matt Breida and Alfred Morris are atop the depth chart, with Kyle Juszczyk serving as a passing down and run blocking back. The team will likely promote Wilson or Dayes to add some depth against the New York Giants.
The 49ers signed Wilson as an undrafted free agent, and moved him to the practice squad at the end of training camp. They signed Dayes to their practice squad on October 9th. Dayes was a seventh round pick of the Cleveland Browns in the 2017 NFL Draft. NFL.com offers a pre-draft profile on prospects, and had this overview for Wilson and Dayes.
Wilson’s frame is on the low-end for early down running backs and he lacks the commitment and physicality needed as an outside runner. Wilson does have a decent feel for lane development on the play-side and back-side as a zone runner and his vision helps him find yardage that some others might miss. His size and lack of explosiveness as a runner could make practice squad his ceiling.
Tempo-based, one-cut running back with good vision but an inability to break tackles and run with power. Best on outside zone plays with an opportunity to find back-side cuts, but when he has to run between the tackles, he’s missing an aggressive burst. Potentially a committee running back with some third-down value if he can tighten up his pass blocking.