San Francisco 49ers

With two cornerbacks injured, 49ers promote ex-Seahawk Powell

Cleveland Browns' Tyvis Powell makes a catch during the team's organized team activity at its NFL football training facility Tuesday, June 6, 2017, in Berea, Ohio.
Cleveland Browns' Tyvis Powell makes a catch during the team's organized team activity at its NFL football training facility Tuesday, June 6, 2017, in Berea, Ohio. AP

With two cornerbacks listed as questionable on the injury report, the 49ers on Saturday promoted ex-Seahawks cornerback Tyvis Powell from the practice squad.

To make room, the team placed offensive lineman Trent Brown (shoulder) on injured reserve, a move Kyle Shanahan signaled Friday.

One 49ers rookie, Ahkello Witherspoon, suffered a sprained MCL (knee) late in Sunday’s win over the Houston Texans. Another, Greg Mabin, strained his calf in Thursday’s practice.

Veteran Dontae Johnson will start at one of the cornerback spots Sunday against the Tennesee Titans; the other is up in the air.

The 49ers signed Powell (6-foot-3, 211 pounds) to their practice squad on Nov. 1.

After playing at Ohio State, he was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Seattle Seahawks in 2016 and appeared in eight games, mostly on special teams.

He spent time with the Browns, Colts and Seahawks earlier this season. Powell edged out another practice-squad cornerback, Channing Stribling, for the spot on San Francisco’s 53-man roster.

Witherspoon (Christian Brothers High School) has gotten healthier over the course of the week.

A third-round pick out of the University of Colorado, Witherspoon didn’t play in the first four games of the season. But the rookie has started the last six contests and has seemed to grow a little stronger and confident with each.

When Johnson was struggling against the Texans’ DeAndre Hopkins on Sunday, the 49ers contemplated having Witherspoon shadow the Houston receiver.

“We have no worries about Ahkello versus any receiver in this league,” defensive coordinator Robert Saleh said. “We think he’ll do a very good job on anyone.”

Matt Barrows: @mattbarrows, read more about the team at sacbee.com/sf49ers.

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