TEMPE, Ariz. -- In a move that suggests at least one of their injured right ends won't play on Sunday, the 49ers today promoted tight end Asante Cleveland from their practice squad to the 53-man roster.
To make room, the team cut quarterback Josh Johnson. He had been serving as the team’s No. 3 quarterback and was inactive the first two games.
Cleveland (Christian Brothers High) is needed because both Vernon Davis (ankle) and Vance McDonald (knee) are questionable to play against the Cardinals. Both were able to do some light running Friday, but neither practiced during the week.
That leaves Derek Carrier, Cleveland and long snapper Kyle Nelson as the only healthy tight ends on the active roster. Carrier finished second on the team in receiving yards in Week 2 with three catches for 41 yards. The 49ers would rather not risk Nelson to injury. Their backup longsnappers are McDonald and Daniel Kilgore.
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Cleveland went undrafted in May after playing at Miami, where he started 10 games during his career and had 14 receptions for 151 yards and one touchdown. He was named the 49ers’ practice squad player of the week for Week 1.
The 49ers hinted at today’s move earlier in the week when they added another rookie tight end, Xavier Grimble, to the practice squad.