SANTA CLARA -- With several injuries at cornerback, the 49ers on Saturday promoted cornerbacks Marcus Cromartie and Chris Davis to the active roster from the practice squad.
Cromartie, a second-year player out of Wisconsin, played in three games for San Francisco last season after being elevated from the practice squad on Dec. 13. Davis was added to the practice squad earlier this week.
Last season, Davis played in 12 games for the Chargers with one start. He was released before the start of this season. Davis played at Auburn and is perhaps best known for his role in the 2013 Iron Bowl against Alabama. With one second left and the score 28-28, Alabama attempted a 57-yard field goal that was short. Davis caught the ball and returned it 109 yards for the winning touchdown.
To make room, the 49ers placed safety L.J. McCray and running back Mike Davis on injured reserve. McCray, a special teams ace, had surgery on a meniscus tear in his knee. Davis injured his hand and had surgery Tuesday.
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One starter at cornerback, Kenneth Acker, didn’t practice this week after being diagnosed Tuesday with a concussion that was not identified when it happened Sunday. Acker left the game with what doctors thought was a shoulder or chest injury and returned to the contest. When he complained he didn’t feel well Tuesday, team doctors diagnosed a concussion.
The team’s other starter, Tramaine Brock, has a shin bruise and was limited in practice all week. The top backup at the position, Keith Reaser, has a sprained ankle and was limited in Thursday’s and Friday’s sessions.
That left Dontae Johnson as the only fully healthy backup, although Jimmie Ward also could play cornerback in a pinch. The Falcons, meanwhile, boast the league’s top receiver in Julio Jones and the NFC’s most prolific passer in Matt Ryan.
Starting running back Carlos Hyde (foot) is out for Sunday’s game while Reggie Bush has been placed on injured reserve. The 49ers are expected to spread the carries among newcomers Kendall Gaskins, Pierre Thomas and Shaun Draughns.