Well, that was quick. Shortly after 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh indicated Tank Carradine could be the first of the remaining NFI/PUP players to be activated, the 49ers have made it official. The team announced Tank Carradine has been added to the 53-man roster and waived outside linebacker Jermaine Cunningham.
The 49ers acquired Carradine in the 2013 NFL Draft after moving down in the second round. They used the second round pick acquired in the Alex Smith to trade down with the Tennessee Titans. I think we all can live with Tank as part of that Alex Smith trade.
Carradine was on the NFI list while he recovered from ACL surgery late last season. The 49ers were deep enough along the defensive line to acquire Tank and let him get back to 100 percent. Of course, in the weeks since the season started, the depth has taken several hits. Ian Williams suffered a broken ankle, while Ray McDonald suffered a tear of his biceps tendon. McDonald has continued to play, but the 49ers have rotated in Demarcus Dobbs, Tony Jerod-Eddie and Quinton Dial to rest their banged up defensive line.
Justin Smith, Glenn Dorsey and Ray McDonald are all going to benefit from the bye week, but adding Tank Carradine to the mix adds that much more depth. The team is sticking with four reserve defensive linemen for now. The team still has more space to clear in the coming week, and again when Aldon Smith and Michael Crabtree return.
It will be interesting to see if they stick with the four reserves along the defensive line. They can justify it given that their entire starting line is banged up, but Dobbs and Jerod-Eddie are likely on notice as the team moves forward.