It appears the 49ers have signed veteran running back Alfonso Smith; the 27-year-old published a photo of the 49ers logo on Instagram, along with the caption “I’m A Niner [Baby !]” (h/t to Josh Weinfuss of ESPN.com). Cam Inman of the Bay Area News Group tweeted earlier today that he expected San Francisco to sign a ball-carrier soon, and it looks they’ve done so.
Smith is entering his fifth NFL season after going undrafted out of Kentucky in 2010. He spent the past four years with the Cardinals, working as a backup. For his career, Smith has 48 carries for 156 yards and two touchdowns. In 2013, he played on nearly 50% of Arizona’s special teams snaps, and he’ll likely be asked to contribute in that capacity in San Francisco.
Earlier this year, it seemed the Niners were well-stocked with RB talent — second-round rookie Carlos Hyde was set to join Kendall Hunter, LaMichael James, and a rehabbing Marcus Lattimore behind starter Frank Gore. However, Hunter will miss the season after tearing his ACL on Saturday, James has a dislocated elbow, and Lattimore is still dealing with a multitude of injuries. Smith will presumably battle with Hyde for backup duties while the rest of the corps gets healthy.