The San Francisco 49ers have added some linebacker depth to replace Reuben Foster while the rookie is sidelined with a high ankle sprain. The 49ers are signing linebacker Elijah Lee off the Minnesota Vikings practice squad, according to ESPN reporter Courtney Cronin. The 49ers will make room for Lee by releasing offensive lineman John Theus.
The Vikings spent a seventh round pick on Lee this past year. They waived him as part of final roster cuts and signed him to their practice squad after he cleared waivers. Lee measured in at 6’2 and a half, 229 pounds at his Pro Day, running a 4.72 40. Here’s what Lance Zierlein had to say about him:
Lee's playing style is more subtle than it is urgent and his upright playing style limits his tackling efficiency and suddenness in his change of direction. Lee has the speed to range all over the field and has the ball skills to warrant consideration on passing downs. If a linebacker coach can get him to play with better bend and get the play speed to match the timed speed, Lee could become an eventual starter in the league.
The 49ers have NaVorro Bowman and Ray-Ray Armstrong starting at linebacker, with Brock Coyle as the only backup. Coyle is a special teams player, so it seems likely that Lee will be active this Sunday if he can pick up the defensive playbook quickly.