The 49ers on Wednesday waived tackle John Theus to make room for linebacker Elijah Lee, whom they signed off the Minnesota Vikings practice squad.
The Vikings drafted Lee (6-foot-2, 229 pounds) in the seventh round out of Kansas State in April and placed him on their practice squad earlier this month. Lee visited the 49ers and the Vikings in the run-up to the draft. He signed a two-year deal with San Francisco.
“He was someone we were interested in through the draft,” Kyle Shanahan said. “We had our eye on him, then our personnel department keeps an eye on them throughout preseason – guys that we targeted in the draft.”
One of the 49ers’ starting inside linebackers, Reuben Foster, is expected to miss multiple games with a high-ankle sprain suffered Sunday against the Carolina Panthers. Foster was seen in the locker room Wednesday with a gray walking boot on his right foot.
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Ray-Ray Armstrong took over for Foster on Sunday. The 49ers also have ex-Seahawk Brock Coyle in reserve at the position. The 49ers face the Seahawks on Sunday.
Theus was a fifth-round draft choice last year out of Georgia who started one game in 2016 and who backed up Joe Staley at left tackle for most of the offseason. He was inactive for Sunday’s game against Carolina. Garry Gilliam served as the top backup at both right and left tackle.
Ward remains limited – Shanahan said safety Jimmie Ward (hamstring) would have a more extensive week of practice than he did last week but that he’ll still be limited early on.
“He’s definitely still limited,” Shanahan said. “I hope to have him on Sunday.”
Jaquiski Tartt started Sunday’s loss against Carolina. He failed to knock Panthers receiver Russell Shepard out of bounds on Shepard’s long touchdown catch and run, the first touchdown of the game, and he also had a 15-yard penalty. Otherwise, Shanahan gave him high marks.
“I thought Tartt did a real good job,” he said. “He missed a tackle on our busted coverage that at least could have given them a chance to work for a field goal instead of getting that touchdown. And he had that personal foul. But besides those two plays I thought he played very well. He made a hell of a play on that pick and did some real good things for us.”
Injuries – Foster and Joe Staley (not injury related) didn’t practice on Wednesday. Ward and tight end George Kittle (hamstring, calf) were limited.