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Alfonso Smith re-signs with 49ers, according to agent

The 49ers are apparently welcoming back running back Alfonso Smith. According to his agent, Smith has re-sign with the 49ers. We break down some reasons why this might be happening.

Thomas B. Shea

Fooch's Update: The 49ers announced Patrick Willis to injured reserve as the corresponding move.

Late last night, Hall of Fame Player Representatives tweeted that Alfonso Smith had re-signed with the San Francisco 49ers. Matt Maiocco was the first to notice it, and there have been no other reports on the news since.

Bruce Ellington suffered a sprained ankle on Sunday, and had to be replaced in the return game. Perrish Cox handled punt returns, and Carlos Hyde handled kick returns. If Ellington is going to miss this weekend's game, that would mean more return work for Hyde. One possibility with this move is that, if the team decided using Hyde in the return game could tire him enough, or provides enough injury risk, they want to have an extra body available at running back. That is purely speculation on my part.

The 49ers already have to clear one spot to bring back Aldon Smith off the suspended list, and the signing of Smith would mean they need another addition. Smith would seemingly be a special teams guy, who could also fill in if there was an emergency at running back. That would seem to mean he would fill the space of a special teams player.

The 49ers inactives this past weekend included cornerback Leon McFadden, safety L.J. McCray and quarterback Josh Johnson. With the 49ers expecting Aldon Smith back this week, along with Alfonso Smith, and then Glenn Dorsey this week or next week, all three of those inactive players could find themselves out of a job soon.