On Friday, the team announced they had signed offensive lineman Corbin Kaufusi to a one-year deal. In order to make room for Kaufusi, the team released safety Kai Nacua. And in another move, the Niners waived injured wide receiver Richie James Jr. and re-signed wideout River Cracraft.
James is set to undergo knee surgery that will keep him out for approximately around six weeks according to head coach Kyle Shanahan. He could still end up back in San Francisco if he goes unclaimed on the waivers.
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Kaufusi Will Take Jaylon Moore’s Spot
Rookie OL Jaylon Moore didn’t practice on Thursday, but he was seen running on the sideline. Shanahan has yet to give an injury update on Moore, so until then, the Falcons have Kaufusi to take his place.
Kaufusi, 28, has been bouncing around practice squads since joining the league as an undrafted free agent in 2019. He originally signed a reserve/future contract with the team back in January and was waived on August 24 before signing again three days later.
The release of Nacua comes by surprise after he saw action in five games last season and registered one tackle on special teams and was promoted to the active roster. The team had also signed him to a one-year extension in February.
But with the return of Jaquiski Tartt and Tavon Wilson along with Talanoa Hufanaga and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, there wasn’t much need for Nacua.
Cracraft Will Add WR Depth Sunday
With James injured, Cracraft will provide wide receiver depth for Sunday’s game vs. Oakland.
Cracraft, 26, originally went undrafted in 2017 and spent time on the Denver Broncos and Philadelphia Eagles practice squad before making his way to the Bay Area.
He contributed some stats last season, finishing the year with six receptions for 41 yards with five punt returns for 40 yards and three tackles on special teams. He was cut by the 49ers this past week as a part of second roster cuts and will likely have a tough time making it past final roster cuts, but could come in handy on the practice squad.
As for James, the Niners took him in the seventh round of the 2018 NFL Draft. Since then, he’s appeared in 40 games with 10 starts, totaling 38 receptions for 689 yards and three touchdowns. He also has 51 punt returns for 373 yards and 47 kickoff returns for 1,081 yards and one touchdown on special teams.
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