The 49ers got a head start on their pending roster moves during the bye week.
With a number of players due to join the 53-man roster by next Tuesday's deadline, they preemptively added rookie Tank Carradine to the roster a week before they needed to.
Outside linebacker Jermaine Cunningham was released to make room for Carradine. Cunningham had not been on the active 46 since joining the 49ers last month.
The team returned from its trip to London Monday and promptly began having optional "opportunity practices" during this week's bye.
Jim Harbaugh mentioned Carradine specifically during Tuesday's meeting with the media prior to the officially announcing his addition to the roster.
"Tank Carradine was here and by that I think we'll make him the first guy activated to the 53," he said.
Eric Wright and Mario Manningham are the two remaining players that must be added to the 53-man roster before Nov. 5's deadline. Otherwise, they would be shut down for the season on injured reserve. They began practicing as soon as they were eligible Oct. 15.
Carradine joins a suddenly deep defensive front that saw the recent addition of rookie Quinton Dial, who has played sparingly at both end and nose tackle during the wins over the Titans and Jaguars.
Ray McDonald (biceps) and Justin Smith (shoulder) were banged up for most of the first half of the season. Now with Carradine and Dial joining Tony Jerod-Eddie and Demarcus Dobbs behind the starters, the 49ers are suddenly very deep on the defensive line after being very thin two weeks ago.
Taken in the second round last spring, Carradine is coming off a torn ACL that ended his final season at Florida State prematurely. Had he finished the season healthy, many talent evaluators had him pegged for the first round of the draft.
"He's still coming along," Harbaugh said. "He's getting the feel back laying 11-on-11 football, but it's coming."
The 49ers will host the Carolina Panthers Nov. 10 following their bye week.
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