Oct 6, 2013; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Kyle Williams (10) returns a punt for a gain against the Houston Texans during the second quarter at Candlestick Park. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

San Francisco 49ers Cut Kyle Williams, Perrish Cox

UPDATED 2:10 p.m.

Embattled wide receiver-kick returner Kyle Williams was released today by the San Francisco 49ers, as was cornerback Perrish Cox.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the 49ers activated Nick Moody from injured reserve/designated-to-return and left a roster spot open.

Williams’ productivity has waned this year, even as he got an opportunity to start at wide receiver opposite Anquan Boldin because of injuries that kept Michael Crabtree and Mario Manningham sidelined at the start of the year.

But the fourth-year wideout from Arizona State didn’t seize the oppoortunity, catching 12 balls in 27 targets for just 113 yards and no touchdowns.

And in the return game, you might as well have called him Not For Awhile Kyle—his 20 fair catches on punt returns lead the NFL and he was averaging just 5.1 yards a return when he did opt to run one back.

He had a breakout year in 2011, snagging 20 passes for 241 yards and three touchdowns and he was pressed into service as a punt returner in the playoffs because regular return man Ted Ginn Jr. was out with a knee injury.

He botched two returns, including one in overtime that set up the game-winning field goal for the New York Giants.

But Williams bounced back last season so well that he was named the Ed Block Courage Award winner by his teammates in 2012.

The writing was on the wall for Williams on Sunday. With Manningham back in uniform, Williams played just 20 snaps on offense and had one reception for five yards. LaMichael James was the punt returner while Anthony Dixon and Kendall Hunter handled kickoffs.

Williams was a sixth-round pick in the 2010 draft and is in the final year of his rookie contract at the $630,000 fourth-year minimum.

Cox, meanwhile, played just one defensive snap against the Panthers on Sunday and his release likely signals the return of Eric Wright, who was activated from the non-football injury list last week, but was inactive against Carolina.

The open spot could be held for a tight end, with the status of Vernon Davis and Garrett Celek unknown for Sunday’s critical NFC matchup at New Orleans. Davis suffered a concussion in Sunday’s game and Celek injured a hamstring. San Francisco does have tight end Derek Carrier on the practice squad.

Tags: Kyle Williams NFL San Francisco 49ers

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