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49ers sign Jeff Wilson Jr. from practice squad, waive Kaden Smith



© Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

When Tevin Coleman sprained his ankle in the 49ers’ Week 1 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, it was obvious the team would need to add another running back. Coleman, like Jalen Hurd and Trent Taylor are targeting a Week 5 return against the Cleveland Browns after the 49ers’ Week 4 bye. Head coach Kyle Shanahan said Sunday that if Coleman was unavailable this week, the team would likely add Jeff Wilson Jr. from the team’s practice squad.

That move was made official on Saturday. In order to sign Wilson, rookie tight end Kaden Smith (2019 sixth-round draft pick from Stanford), who was the team’s fourth tight end and was inactive last week, was waived. He following is from the 49ers:

The San Francisco 49ers today announced they have promoted RB Jeff Wilson Jr. to the active roster from the team’s practice squad. In order to make room on the roster, the team has waived TE Kaden Smith.

Wilson Jr. (6-0, 194) originally signed with the 49ers as an undrafted rookie free agent on May 1, 2018, out of the University of North Texas. Last season, Wilson Jr. appeared in six games (two starts) and registered 66 carries for 266 yards while adding 12 receptions for 98 yards. He was waived by the team on August 31, 2019, and signed to the practice squad the following day.

A 23-year-old native of Elkhart, TX, Wilson Jr. appeared in 41 games (29 starts) during his four-year career with the Mean Green where he rushed for 3,205 yards and 32 touchdowns on 562 carries, while adding 70 receptions for 527 yards and two touchdowns. He finished his career ranked third in school history in rushing touchdowns (32) and fourth in rushing yards (3,205). As a senior, he started all 11 games in which he appeared and notched 188 carries for 1,215 yards and 16 touchdowns to go along with 24 receptions for 168 yards.

Wilson Jr. will wear number 30.

Smith (6-5, 252) was the first of three sixth-round draft picks (176th overall) selected by the 49ers in this year’s draft out of Stanford University. He appeared in 25 games (12 starts) in his three-year career (2016-18) with the Cardinal, where he registered 70 receptions for 1,049 yards and seven touchdowns. Smith was inactive for the team’s Week 1 game at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.