The 49ers have made a pair of roster moves involving defensive players today, placing rookie defensive back Jimmie Ward on injured reserve and activating linebacker Aldon Smith, per Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee. Smith had been reinstated from his nine-game suspension earlier this week, but the team had to remove a player from the 53-man roster in order for him to be active for tomorrow’s game against the Giants.
Ward, San Francisco’s first-round pick back in May, will be sidelined for the rest of the season with a foot injury. While it’s not clear if the injury is related to the Jones fracture Ward was diagnosed with earlier in the year, it’s the same foot giving him problems this time around. Despite entering the league as a safety, Ward saw most of his time at the nickel back position for the 49ers this season.
As for Smith, the Niners had a roster exemption for the returning linebacker, and could have waited until Monday to make a move to officially accommodate him. However, that corresponding move needed to be made by today if the club hoped to get him on the field in tomorrow’s game. It’s not clear how much action he’ll see, but we can expect Smith to make his 2014 debut against the Giants.
For now, Niners defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey, who is eligible to be activated from the injured reserve list, remains on IR.