Jim Harbaugh today said that rookie defensive end Tank Carradine, who was placed on injured reserve on Tuesday, did not experience a setback in his return from an ACL tear.
"Actually it's been steady progress," Harbaugh said of Carradine, the 40th pick in the draft. "Just feel that in his best interest. ... He could have played this year, but don't feel that he's 100 percent ready or able to play in games. But his rehab has been steadily improving."
Carradine tore his ACL in Florida State's second-to-last game a year ago on Nov. 24. The 49ers cleared him to practice last month and bumped him up to the 53-man roster. But coaches determined that Carradine still was not fully recovered from last year's injury, and with a full house along the defensive line, thought it would be wiser to have him focus on rehabilitation.
Carradine's knee was recently reexamined.
"The doctors, the medical staff thought it was something that would be in Tank's best interest," Harbaugh said. "Not everybody comes back from ACL injuries fully recovered in one year. He did get a lot of good practice time, and I think that's the best thing for his career."
Better injury news: Mike Iupati will return to practice this week, his first sessions since suffering an MCL sprain Nov. 17. Adam Snyder has started the last three games at Iupati's left guard spot.
- Matt Barrows