The San Francisco 49ers activated wide receiver Malik Turner and safety Tashaun Gipson from the practice squad on Saturday. Both players will be available in their Week 1 matchup against the Bears. Under the new practice squad rules, players are allowed to be activated twice from the practice squad before they have to be added to the team’s 53-man roster.
Gipson has long seemed like the most obvious candidate to be activated from the practice squad while the Niners try to get through the early part of the regular season without Jimmie Ward, who is out with a hamstring injury.
A 10-year veteran, Gipson has been a team’s primary starter at safety in each of the last nine seasons, starting in 28 of the Bears’ 32 games over the past two years. However, Gipson has lost a step in coverage over the past couple of seasons and had to settle for an opportunity to be a backup with the Niners. Gipson has made 132 starts over the course of his career and has racked up 563 tackles.
Turner is a speedster who could be an intriguing deep threat for quarterback Trey Lance, but he is an experienced special teamer and is more likely to see the field in that role. Turner entered the league as an undrafted free agent out of Illinois in 2018 with the Seahawks. He played in Seattle for his first two seasons before signing with the Cowboys and playing in Dallas in 2020 and 2021. Over his career, Turner has 414 receiving yards and four touchdowns on 29 receptions.