The 49ers’ initial 53-player roster has just seven available offensive linemen — five starters and two backups. One of those reserves is ex-Dolphin Jonathan Martin, who will back up both tackle spots and could also be asked to play guard in a pinch.
In a conference call with media on Saturday, 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh called Martin an “example of someone who’s really earned the position” on the club’s roster.
“He’s been mainly playing tackle, but he has the ability to play guard and going forward that will be something that he’ll continue to learn and be good at,” Harbaugh said, according to an interview transcript from the club. “I feel very good about it. He’s done an excellent job of getting the job done.”
The 25-year-old Martin started seven games for Miami in 2013 before leaving the club amid allegations he had been bullied. He started all four preseason games this summer in place of right tackle Anthony Davis, who sat out the exhibition slate after spring shoulder surgery.
Harbaugh said Martin has transitioned well to life with the 49ers, who acquired him in March.
“It’s all been very good. We’re very fortunate to have him and excited about it,” Harbaugh said.
Harbaugh was non-committal Saturday on Davis’ status for the season opener against Dallas. Martin, who’s started all 23 NFL regular season games in which he’s played, would be the next man up. And given how last season ended for Martin, it’s a nice accomplishment to have earned a backup role for a team that had no starting offensive tackle spots available.