Categories: NFL Sports

49ers’ Tank Carradine ready for ‘rookie’ season

SANTA CLARA — Running back Marcus Lattimore might be the most publicized second-year player for the 49ers who sat out as a rookie because of a knee injury. Another player from that class — and an even higher draft pick — rehabbing with Lattimore last season is poised to make an even bigger mark.

Tank Carradine missed all of last year recovering from a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee suffered at the end of the 2012 season with Florida State. There were times, Carradine said, he questioned whether he could ever play at the level that made him the 40th overall draft pick again.

The 6-foot-4, 273-pound defensive lineman leaned on Lattimore every morning he walked into the training room.

“We talked about it all the time,” Carradine said Wednesday, the second day of San Francisco’s three-day mandatory minicamp. “Every day we asked each other how we feel and then we just kind of made it like a joke when we see each other. He ask me how I feel, I ask him how he feels and everything. But we talked about it and always said, ‘We couldn’t wait for the opportunity.’”

Healthy again, that chance has finally arrived.

Carradine is getting extra repetitions in practice this week because veteran defensive tackle Justin Smith is out with an unspecified injury. Coach Jim Harbaugh said Smith is expected back for the start of training camp next month.

The 49ers initially thought Carradine could contribute late last season when they drafted him as a defensive end in Florida State’s 4-3 scheme. General manager Trent Baalke said he loved the versatility Carradine could bring to San Francisco’s 3-4 defense playing in several spots in various packages.

Instead, coaches felt Carradine could not get the force he needed from his knee in practice and shut him down in November. That’s when Carradine’s concerns began to mount.

“I was worried last year because I didn’t feel like myself,” he said. “I felt like my knee was strong, but I didn’t feel like myself.”

Carradine said an MRI exam at the end of the year revealed a buildup of scar tissue, and in January he had a procedure to clean it out. He said he felt the difference almost immediately.

“I felt like I was 100 percent,” he said. “I was able to get full range of motion on my knee, I was able to bend it and then also got my strength back on my leg. Now I feel like I’m back to normal again.”

SF Examiner
Published by
SF Examiner

Recent Posts

SF Preps Football: St. Ignatius ousted in regional quarterfinal by Sacred Heart Prep

GILROY — As was often the case throughout a season filled with tough opponents, the St. Ignatius Wildcats ran into…

4 hours ago

Badasses’ and basketball players have brought good news in tumultuous year for women

This has been a tumultuous year for women. The Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh hearings and the #MeToo movement highlighted…

4 hours ago

SF Preps Football: Sacred Heart Cathedral shuts out one of NorCal’s most productive offenses in first round of playoffs

MORGAN HILL — Exactly a year before Sacred Heart Cathedral's first-round playoff game against Live Oak on Saturday, the Acorns…

4 hours ago

Goodbye Stem Cells?

The stem cell tsunami overwhelming all of medicine is evolving. Where once it was thought that these cells could morph…

4 hours ago

Former Mission District family finds peace amid housing crisis and their new neighborhood

It’s been three years since Dale Duncan, Marta Muñoz and their 10-year old, Emilia, were forced to vacate their Mission…

4 hours ago

40 years later, SF to get Jonestown memorial

Like most cities, San Francisco has its fair share of memorials. Statues, busts, and plaques commemorate noteworthy events and people…

4 hours ago