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San Francisco 49ers promote Pita Taumoepenu to active roster, place Dekoda Watson on injured reserve

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Pita Taumoepenu works out during training camp with the San Francisco 49ers in August, 2018. (Ryan Gorcey / S.F. Examiner)

With linebacker Dekoda Watson placed on injured reserve, after tearing his calf against the Seattle Seahawks, the San Francisco 49ers have promoted Pita Taumoepenu to the active roster.

The 6-foot-1, 245-pounder has been with the 49ers since training camp, and was selected by San Francisco in the sixth round (202nd overall) in the 2017 NFL Draft out of Utah.

Taumoepenu grew up playing rugby in Tonga, and moved in with his aunt in Provo, Utah for a year before scoring a 28 on the ACT and being signed by the Utes. At Utah, he completed degrees in sociology and economics.

He appeared in 46 games in his four-year career in Salt Lake city, tallying 73 tackles, 25.5 tackles for loss, 21.5 sacks, four forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.

He appeared in two games as a rookie with the 49ers, he was waived by the team on Sept. 1, 2018, and signed to the practice squad.

The 49ers also announced that they had signed longsnapper Colin Holba to a two-year deal, in the wake of the suspension of Kyle Nelson. On Monday, Nelson was suspended by the NFL for 10 games, the result of a second positive test for performance enhancing drugs.

The 5-foot-4, 248-pound Holba was originally drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the sixth round (213th overall) of the 2017 NFL Draft. He was waived by the Steelers on September 2, 2017 and later signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars on November 14, 2017. He went on to appear in the Jaguars’ final seven games of the regular season, and in three postseason contests. He was waived on June 14, 2018.

Holba, 24, attended Louisville, appearing in 26 games and serving as the starting longsnapper in his junior and senior seasons, with three special teams tackles.

San Francisco also announced that they have signed safety Terrell Williams Jr. to the practice squad. The 49ers have been in need of safeties, as Jaquiski Tartt did not practice on Wednesday due to a shoulder injury, and Adrian Colbert went on injured reserve in late October with a high ankle sprain.

The 6-foot-4, 212-pound Williams originally signed with the 49ers as an undrafted rookie free agent out of Houston on April 30, 2018. He was placed on the Injured Reserve List on August 17 and waived by the team on August 20.

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