SANTA CLARA -- The 49ers signed running back DuJuan Harris, who was released on Saturday, to a one-year contract and placed rookie cornerback Will Redmond on injured reserve.
Redmond, a third-round pick in April, tore his ACL in October. He is eligible to return after six weeks this season, but he had to have been on the 49ers’ original 53-man roster Saturday in order to do so. As in previous years, teams may bring back one player from injured reserve. This year, however, they don’t have to designate that player at the time he goes on injured reserve.
General manager Trent Baalke has a history of drafting players with ACL injuries, none of whom has excelled in the NFL. Another player he selected who had an ACL injury at the time, receiver DeAndre Smelter in 2015, was waived/injured Saturday. That means the 49ers can place Smelter on injured reserve or give him an injury settlement.
In 2014 he selected offensive lineman Brandon Thomas in the third round after Thomas suffered an ACL tear earlier that year. The 49ers this year traded Thomas to the Lions, who placed him on their practice squad.
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Baalke was asked about Redmond after the draft.
“He will be healthy. He will be ready to go,” he said.
Pressed on Redmond's health, he said, “Well, once again, we think he is healthy and will be ready to go. So this isn’t a young man that we’re saying we’re going to bring him in and let him go through the six-week NFI (non-football injury list) and all that. This guy’s going to come in and be ready to go for training camp and be thrust into that group to compete for a spot. We like the young group that we have and this only adds to it.”
Redmond practiced throughout the spring and summer but was restricted. He looked good as a nickel cornerback in the last two preseason games, including in the team's Aug. 26 game against Green Bay. He played 20 snaps in the team's preseason finale against the Chargers.
He was held out of the first two games.
“It was good to have Will out there and he definitely did some good things in the run game," defensive coordinator Jim O'Neil said. "He was able to make some plays on some of our nickel pressures. I’m not sure if he’s all the way there yet, as far as back, but mentally he’s done a great job."
Harris, meanwhile, becomes the fourth running back on the roster behind Carlos Hyde, Shaun Draughn and Mike Davis. The 49ers also kept rookie Kelvin Taylor on the practice squad.