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Position Battle Review: 49ers Sign TE Joe Sawyer

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While an official decision has not come down the pike, Matt Barrows is reporting the 49ers have signed Southwestern Oklahoma State tight end Joe Sawyer. He was apparently in for a workout this morning in which he caught some passes from Colin Kaepernick, and the team decided to sign him. His agent describes him as both a tight end and H-back.

The signing comes amidst the news that Delanie Walker suffered an injury in yesterday's FanFest practice. Coach Harbaugh said the team dodged a bullet with the injury, but it seems like Walker is unlikely to play this weekend against the Houston Texans. Walker's absence would mean more playing time for Konrad Reuland, Demarcus Dobbs and Nate Byham.

It will be interesting to see if Byham is playing as he sat out last Friday against the Vikings. Byham is in a dogfight for the third tight end role, so that would not seem to have been a "veteran's day off". Dobbs has reportedly impressed in practice, and had his moments against the Vikings. Given the playing time and whatnot, it would seem like Dobbs and Reuland might have edged ahead of Byham at this point.

Sawyer will likely get some snaps this weekend, but he is likely not much more than a camp body. The 49ers have a lot to figure out with Reuland, Dobbs and Byham, so Sawyer looks like your late fourth quarter tight end.