San Francisco 49ers

Why 49ers are adding linebacker Terence Garvin

Seahawks linebacker Terence Garvin (52) reacts after Seahawks safety Tedric Thompson recovered a muffed kick return in the second quarter on Nov. 20, 2017 against Atlanta at CenturyLink Field.
Seahawks linebacker Terence Garvin (52) reacts after Seahawks safety Tedric Thompson recovered a muffed kick return in the second quarter on Nov. 20, 2017 against Atlanta at CenturyLink Field. joshua.bessex@gateline.com

The 49ers on Wednesday signed linebacker Terence Garvin, as first reported by NFL Network, to add depth and versatility to their injury-depleted group of linebackers. The team had an extra roster spot ahead of Sunday’s home opener against the Detroit Lions after placing outside linebacker Dekoda Watson (hamstring) on injured reserve over the weekend.

Garvin, 27, spent last season with the Seattle Seahawks, who run a similar scheme to San Francisco, appearing in 15 games and making three starts working primarily as a “Sam” outside linebacker. Garvin was also used inside in certain alignments.

The 49ers are down three inside linebackers ahead of Sunday’s game following their season-opening loss in Minnesota. Brock Coyle, who was starting in place of the suspended Reuben Foster, suffered a head injury in the fourth quarter and is working through the league’s concussion protocol. Veteran Malcolm Smith missed the game with a hamstring injury that’s been bothering him since the first preseason game. Both players are questionable heading into Week 2.

Garvin (6-foot-3, 242 pounds) could also be used on special teams as the primary backup to Mark Nzeocha, who switched to “Sam” linebacker this offseason. Foster won’t be eligible to return to the team until Week 3’s game against the Chiefs.

Garvin entered the league with the Pittsburgh Steelers as an undrafted free agent in 2013. He spent three seasons there before appearing in all 16 games for Washington in 2016. After playing for Seattle last season, he signed with the Miami Dolphins but was released during final cuts.

In 74 career games, Garvin has 36 tackles, 1.5 sacks, a pass breakup and forced fumble.

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