On Saturday the 49ers made some roster moves to clear up some space and added a pair of players off the practice squad. OLB Travis LaBoy and kicker Joe Nedney were both placed on injured reserve and the team promoted TE Colin Cloherty and DT Will Tukuafu to the active roster. Thanks to mikeinsp for posting a FanShot about it over the weekend. I've posted some details courtesy of the 49ers about Cloherty and Tukuafu after the jump.
The random addition would seem to be the tight end Colin Cloherty. The 49ers have three tight ends already on the roster in Vernon Davis, Delanie Walker and Nate Byham. I wouldn't exactly call them slouches. I would imagine Cloherty will be inactive, although I suppose he could see some special teams time if it becomes necessary.
Tukuafu has been a fairly intriguing player but has never had a chance to really showcase his skills. I can't imagine he'll see much playing time against the Rams this Sunday given the implications of the game. If the team has any worries about Aubrayo Franklin (none since his groin injury two weeks ago) then maybe he could get activated. However, the 49ers would seem to be set in terms of active depth along the defensive line of their 3-4. The only other concern might be if Justin Smith were to get some kind of suspension for his actions with the referee on Thursday. I can't imagine that happening, but it's something we'll keep an eye on.
LaBoy's injury isn't shocking as we discussed his numerous injury issues throughout the offseason. However, it's certainly disappointing as he was putting together a fairly decent season. He had five sacks through 14 games in a rotational role and had a decent shot at eclipsing his previous career high of 6.5 sacks in these final two games. Now he'll head into free agency with more injury issues to consider. I still think he's worth a flyer in 2011 because he does bring some pure pass rushing skills that the 49ers could use. And at the very least he'd be a good guy to bring in to camp to compete with some of the younger pass rushers.
Nedney had a rough year on the injury front as he seemed to deal with a variety of ailments before finally going on IR with this knee injury. Nedney is signed through 2011, but one has to wonder if the 49ers might take a look at some other options for next year. Although Nedney took down Ziggy the Robot, it might not be enough to secure his roster spot in 2011. Jeff Reed has been quite solid as his replacement and the 49ers may just want to get younger anyways. When healthy Nedney has been rock solid inside of 40 and decent from 40-49. However, he is breaking down a bit more and one has to wonder if it's time to move on.
Cloherty (6-2, 245) originally entered the league as an undrafted free agent with the Indianapolis Colts on April 30, 2009. He played in one game with the Colts and registered one reception for two yards. Cloherty spent the majority of the 2009 season on the Colts practice squad before being signed to their active roster for the season finale. He was released by the Colts following training camp this year and was signed to the 49ers practice squad on October 6.
Tukuafu (6-4, 293) signed with the 49ers as a rookie free agent from the University of Oregon on August 12, 2010. He was released following training camp and later signed to the 49ers practice squad on September 5. Tukuafu was originally signed earlier this year by the Seattle Seahawks before being released on June 22. Tukuafu totaled 131 tackles, 14.5 sacks, five fumble recoveries and four forced fumbles over the final three years of his collegiate career for the Ducks.