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October 5, 2010
Niners do the practice-squad shuffle

Keaton Kristick is up. Colin Cloherty is in. Bruce Davis is out. Tuesday has become roster-shuffling day in the NFL, and the 49ers were busy today tidying up the bottom of their roster.

No. 1: They promoted Keaton Kristick from the practice squad to the active roster. Kristick was the last rookie to join the team in June because his school, Oregon State, had not had its graduation ceremony when the 49ers began their OTAs. But he proved to be a quick learner despite moving from outside linebacker in college to inside linebacker with the 49ers.

Kristick is being eyed for special teams purposes only at this point. Taylor Mays no longer will contribute on all units and Delanie Walker is hurt. Kristick was bumped up ahead of fellow rookie practice squadder Chris Maragos because the 49ers have an abundance of safeties even with Michael Lewis' departure. Meanwhile, the team is light at inside linebacker. Kristick is fast and has good instincts. But he's a bit light in the fanny to be an every-down linebacker at this point in his career and should benefit from being in an NFL weight room with NFL strength coaches for a season. Kristick is the 10th rookie on the active roster. He and cornerback Tramaine Brock were the only two that weren't drafted.

No. 2. They signed one-time Colts tight end Colin Cloherty to the practice squad. Cloherty, 6-2, 245, is a pass-catching tight end out of Brown, and the 49ers' interest in him is related to Delanie Walker's ankle injury. It's unknown at this point how much time Walker will miss. Cloherty played in only one game last season for Indianapolis and caught one pass for two yards. He was on the active roster for the team's playoff run. If Walker's ankle injury proves to be long-term, Cloherty could go up to the active roster (and either Kristick or Brock likely would go down to the p-squad).

No. 3. Outside linebacker Bruce Davis was plucked off the practice squad by the Raiders, who have suffered a rash of injuries at the position. This, of course, means that the 49ers still have one more practice-squad spot available.

-- Matt Barrows



MATTHEW BARROWS

Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.

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