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49ers' rookies injury report: What can we expect from the undrafted free agents going into training camp?

Rookies reported to camp yesterday. We have examined the pre-NFL injuries of the 2013 draft class. Now, we look at pre-NFL injuries of the undrafted free agent signings and examine how they are likely to be classified going into training camp.


Yesterday was a little exciting for 49ers fans. We learned the team acquired Eric Wright from Tampa Bay and of course, it sparked much discussion about competition and depth.

It is certainly going to be interesting who makes the roster, who ends up on the practice squad and who may be cut. Yesterday, I put together a run down of the pre-NFL injuries of half of the 49ers' rookies, i.e., the 2013 NFL Draft class. Following the draft, the 49ers were quick to sign several undrafted free agents. I wanted to give you a look at the UDFA's pre-NFL injuries and how likely they will be classified going into training camp.

I researched and tried to dig up everything available, but on a couple of these players -- I did not come up with an injury. Usually, I find some injury, even insignificant ones. But, all in all, we may have some healthy football players on our hands. Still, some of these injuries may come off a little strange, but I thought it was worth the mention. If anything, it is a little 49ers trivia for you.

Sherman Carter, Center

In attempting to dig up his injuries, I found out Carter was severely electrocuted at the age of 11. He stumbled upon a live power line and almost died. He was hospitalized for seven weeks with third degree burns all over his body.

He appears to be healthy now and I could not locate any collegiate injuries. Carter played in 42 games (33 starts) during his career at Tennessee State. As a senior, he started all 11 games. He is ready to practice.

Alex Debniak, Fullback

49ers listed Debniak as a fullback, although he played linebacker at Stanford. At his Pro Day, he worked out at both positions. He played in eight games as a true freshman in 2008, and finished the year with four tackles. In the fall of his sophomore year, Debniak suffered a season-ending knee injury, and was forced to sit out the season with a medical redshirt. Debniak did not return until 2010, but he entered all 13-games and was a significant part of the special teams unit.

Unfortunately, last month Debniak suffered a torn Achilles at practice. Debniak was waived/injured by the 49ers the following day. When he cleared waivers, he automatically reverted back to the 49ers and is expected to go on injured reserve once the season begins. He is ineligible to return this season, but does not count against the 49ers' 90-man roster limit.

MarQueis Gray, Halfback

49ers list Gray as a halfback, but he saw time on the field as QB and wide receiver for Minnesota. Gray is definitely an interesting player, being the hybrid-type player he is.

By way of injuries, in September 2011, Gray suffered an undisclosed injury to his leg against USC. Based on that season's game log, he did not appear to miss any games after the injury. He ended up back on the Gopher's injury report in September 2012, with an ankle injury. He was out four weeks, rehabbing the ankle. In the third quarter of his return game at QB, Northwestern's Ibraheim Campbell collided with Gray's left ankle on a tackle. Gray returned to the injury report.

Due to Gray's inability to stay healthy, the Gophers rotated him in at wide receiver. Gray is obviously an athlete, and given his abilities, he can be moved around. His ankle injury initially concerned me. Even though Gray essentially suffered a sprained ankle, these are the type of injuries that can turn chronic. Sometimes, the soft tissue injuries are the most worrisome, because they are easily exacerbated. Yet, all reports show Gray is healthy and making a real attempt at competing for a tight end position. I expect him to practice and be ready to compete for a spot on the roster. Here are some highlights of this talented athlete. He is an athlete and somebody to watch.

D.J. Harper, Running Back

Harper suffered a season ending torn ACL in his left knee during the third game vs. Fresno State in 2009. He tore the same ACL the following season (2010) against Oregon State and missed the final 10 games. Harper only played three games in those two years. He was eventually granted a medical redshirt and sixth year of eligibility.

The good news is his senior year he started all 13 games and rushed for 1,137 yards. He may have an injury filled past, but by all accounts looked healthy his senior year. Certainly, two ACL injuries to the same knee is concerning. However, Harper is over two years removed from the last surgery and has not experienced any further incident. He appears ready to practice.

Chuck Jacobs, Wide Receiver

I was unable to locate any information on Jacobs. He does not appear to have any injury preventing him from practicing.

Luke Marquardt, Tackle

The big offensive tackle suffered a hairline fracture in his right foot last year. He expected to return in December 2012, but that never came to fruition. He missed his entire senior year due to this foot injury. Unfortunately for Marquardt, another hairline fracture was discovered at the combine through a routine CT scan. A few days after his pro day on April 11, Marquardt underwent surgery to repair his broken foot. I do not see him being physically ready for training camp.

You can read more of my thoughts here. Marquardt is a great candidate to take advantage of the NFI list and I expect him to remain there for the year, due to our depth at the position and because he is coming off surgery.

Kevin McDermott, Long Snapper

There were no reported injuries. It appears he is ready to practice.

Darryl Morris, Cornerback

There were no reported injuries. It appears he is ready to practice.

Lawrence Okoye, Defensive End

There were no reported injuries. It appears he is ready to practice.

Patrick Omameh, Guard

There were no reported injuries. It appears he is ready to practice.

Mike Purcell, Nose Tackle

Purcell performed well for the Wyoming Cowboys in 2011. On the defensive line, he started 10 of 13 games. Purcell missed one game, versus UNLV, due to injury and didn't start two others due to injury. Given the injuries were undisclosed and went back to 2011, it was tough for me to find out more. But, apparently, the 49ers have taken a shot with Purcell and it appears he is ready to practice.

Lowell Rose, Cornerback

Rose was a walk-on at UCLA in 2008, and spent 2009 recovering from injury. He then transferred to Tulsa where he showed strong versatility. Although the 49ers love this trait, Rose was released yesterday and it appears any previous injuries are now moot. We'll keep him in here for now though in case the 49ers decide to bring him in at some point in camp.

That covers all the rookies' pre-NFL injuries. Next week, I plan to cover the players on the roster who will end up on the Active/PUP, Reserve/PUP and Injured Reserve Lists.

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