SANTA CLARA, Calif. – When the San Francisco 49ers released third-string quarterback Nate Davis on Monday, coach Mike Singletary said it was “a risk worth taking.” Wednesday, the risk paid off.
Despite rumors he had been claimed by several teams, Davis went unclaimed and was added to the team’s eight-man practice squad. To make room, the Niners cut undrafted rookie quarterback Jarrett Brown from the practice squad.
Davis was waived so that the team could sign quarterback Troy Smith, who was signed Monday after being released last weekend by the Baltimore Ravens. Smith arrived and found himself surrounded by familiar faces.
Smith is childhood friends with 49ers wide receiver Ted Ginn Jr. and offensive lineman Alex Boone. All three also played together at Ohio State, where Smith won the Heisman Trophy in 2006.
Singletary said he hopes Smith, who will wear No. 1, will push quarterback David Carr for the job of backup to No. 1 Alex Smith.
”Offense is not something you can just learn in a couple of days,” Smith said. “There’s a little bit of similarities in what we had going on in Baltimore and what we’ve got going on in San Francisco. I’ve still got to keep my head down, study like crazy and hopefully some things will happen.”
WHERE’S CRAB?: Wide receiver Michael Crabtree declined a couple of opportunities to speak with reporters Wednesday, but he’s been practicing with the team and is a likely starter Sunday in Seattle.
Even so, Alex Smith said it would have been beneficial had Crabtree played in the preseason rather than sitting out every game, in part because of a neck strain.
“I think for this offense to reach its full potential, he’s going to have to be a part of it,” Smith said. “It’s unfortunate that we’ve missed out on preseason reps, but it’s behind us. It’s the real deal now. These games count, and he’s going to have to come out and be a part of it.”