Niners Welcome Defender Back From IR, Drop CB to Make Room

Kyle Shanahan

Getty Head coach Kyle Shanahan of the San Francisco 49ers.

The San Francisco 49ers did some housekeeping in the defensive backfield to kickoff the team’s bye week.

Niners management on Monday, October 11 elevated cornerback Davontae Harris from the injured reserve list (IR). In a corresponding move, the team released recently signed corner and former NFL starter Buster Skrine from the roster.

The news was first released as part of the NFL’s official transaction report Monday morning. The details of the Niners’ decision was later tweeted by ESPN’s Field Yates as part of a post that also addressed movement on the Seattle Seahawks‘ roster.

“The Seahawks have activated TE Gerald Everett from the COVID-19 list,” Yates wrote in the first line of the post. “The 49ers have released DB Buster Skrine and activated DB Davontae Harris from IR.”

Harris Will Get First Regular Season Shot With Niners Since Joining Team

Ravens Davontae Harris

GettyFormer Ravens defensive back Davontae Harris tackles wide receiver Amari Cooper in a December 2020 game against the Dallas Cowboys.

Harris played for the Denver Broncos and the Baltimore Ravens during the 2020 season, appearing in 11 games combined for the two franchises.

The corner tallied 14 tackles, forced 1 fumble and defended 1 pass over the course of the campaign, according to Pro Football Reference. Harris has appeared in 30 games throughout his NFL career, starting 8 of those and registering 50 total tackles, 4 passes defensed and 1 forced fumble during that time.

A former fifth-round selection of the Cincinnati Bengals in the 2018 NFL draft, Harris remained a member of the Ravens organization throughout a portion of the 2021 preseason before he was released in August.

The Niners claimed the defensive back off of the waiver wire on August 17. He practiced with San Francisco for two weeks before landing on the IR September 1. The team opened the practice window for Harris on September 29, ultimately returning him to the active roster on October 11.

Harris’ Return Secondary News in San Francisco With Injury to Lance

Trey Lance

GettySan Francisco 49ers quarterback Trey Lance made the first start of his NFL career against the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday, October 10, 2021.

The Niners’ roster moves were secondary news compared to an alarming injury update coming out of the quarterback room Monday.

San Francisco head coach Kyle Shanahan announced that rookie QB Trey Lance, who made the first start of his NFL career against the Arizona Cardinals the day before, had suffered a sprained knee. The return timetable for Lance has not been determined and is reliant on more medical information expected to arrive over the next several days.

“It’s not a long-term injury,” Shanahan said, per the 49ers team website. “We should have a good idea of it in the next week, whether he’s got a chance for (the Indianapolis Colts) or not. If he doesn’t, they told me it should be like a one- to two-week thing, but possibly just one.”

While the relatively mild nature of the injury is a rare bounce of good injury luck for the Niners, the timing makes the news even more problematic than it would be normally.

San Francisco is moving into its bye week and won’t take the field again until they host the Colts on Sunday, October 24. That means two weeks of rest for Lance instead of just one. However, veteran starter Jimmy Garoppolo also remains injured, after he suffered a calf contusion against the Seattle Seahawks last week.

Tests on the muscle came back negative for structural damage, but Garoppolo was unable to overcome the pain of the contusion in time to make it back for Arizona. When he will be ready remains an open question.

Should both Lance and Garoppolo remain sidelined when the Niners return to play in Week 7, Shanahan will call upon quarterback Nate Sudfeld, who has spent the entire season on the team’s practice squad.

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