One of the frequent questions lately has been when Tank Carradine will find his way on the field in game action. The 49ers activated Tank Carradine to the 53-man roster on October 29, but he has been inactive for the two games since.
Earlier today, Matt Maiocco had an update on Tank's status. Based on Maiocco's report, it could be some time before we see Tank on the field. The article broke down a combination of factors impacting Tank's potential playing opportunities. These included rehab factors, rust from a lack of practice time and the style of play at Florida State. As to that last one:
"If you remember the system he played at Florida State, hand in the dirt, outside edges, playing fast up-field, it's a different style than we play. So there is going to be a learning curve for Tank."
Beyond that, what I found most interesting was Maiocco's report on Tank's rehab process:
But, according to sources, there was a belief among NFL teams that there were corners cut in Carradine's rehabilitation in an attempt to impress teams prior to the draft.
Maiocco goes on to say "the 49ers began his rehabilitation program from the beginning." That's kind of a big deal for a guy coming off an ACL injury. It's hard to tell what starting from the beginning completely entails since the ACL has already had some time to recover. If Tank's people had him cutting corners, who knows what it means for the health of the re-built ACL. The longer it takes for him to return, the bigger the issue clearly is.
One big question is if this is an issue, why would the team have activated him to the 53-man roster at this early a juncture? The NFI designation provided the team with the time to wait until December to get him on the 53-man roster. The team had him back at practice and then activated to the 53-man roster before they were required to do so. If he had restarted his rehab program from the beginning, something doesn't jive in all this.
For now, we're left to wait and see what happens in the coming weeks.