The San Francisco 49ers announced Saturday afternoon that they have promoted cornerback Leon McFadden from the practice squad to the 53-man roster. The 49ers had an open roster spot from their earlier transaction in which they placed Daniel Kilgore and Chris Cook on injured reserve, and signed Bubba Ventrone.
When a team signs a free agent to the team, they usually try and get the move done before their first practice of the week. That allows the player some time to get used to the system and his teammates. In this case, McFadden has been on the practice field all season long. He is usually working in a scout team role, but he has had a chance to learn the 49ers defensive playbook and understand what the team does.
Does this mean he will be active on Sunday? That is hard to tell. Tramaine Brock is questionable for Sunday's game with his toe injury, while Chris Culliver (hamstring) and Jimmie Ward (quadricep) are probable. Culliver and Ward seem good to go, barring any last minute setbacks. If those two play and Brock sits, the 49ers options include Culliver, Ward, Perrish Cox, Dontae Johnson, and now Leon McFadden. The team had to promote McFadden today to have him available for Sunday. My guess is if Brock is inactive, but Culliver and Ward are fine in pre-game warmups, McFadden is inactive. McFadden provides insurance in case either Culliver or Ward has a setback on Sunday morning.
I briefly wrote about McFadden back when the 49ers signed him to their practice squad. He was a third round pick in 2013, and played in all 16 games as a rookie. The Browns brought in a new coaching staff after that season, and McFadden was cut at the end of training camp. It would seem like the new staff wanted a fresh start without him.
Here are some scouting reports on McFadden: