Last week we reported that TE Clay Harbor was taking some practice snaps at linebacker. It turns out, he's not alone as WR Jason Avant has been taking snaps with the secondary.
"I always say I never compare myself to other guys because those other guys, they're not me," he said. "It's one of those things that I work hard, I'm going to continue to work hard and whatever that may be, whatever the team wants to do with me, I'm going to do it as best as I can for the team, whatever that may be."
Avant says the move is a compliment, not a sign that his roster spot could be in jeopardy.
"I don't necessarily think it'll cloud my future. I really think it's an honor anyway for a coach to think you can do other things."
We've certainly seen some examples of players with positional versatility in the NFL. The Patriots are probably the most notable example using LB Mike Vrabel as a TE and WR Troy Brown in the secondary.
It's tough to say what Chip Kelly's plans are for guys like Avant & Harbor at this point. It is only May, so we could simply be seeing some experimentation that is never used in the regular season. Maybe, as Harbor said, it's simply preparing for potential emergencies.
It will be interesting to watch as the summer continues and training camp starts whether we continue to see offensive players working on defense.