The San Francisco 49ers have officially activated five players heading into practice on Tuesday.
San Francisco, which took a day off from training camp practice on Monday, activated guard Jonathan Cooper, wide receiver Trent Taylor and linebacker Dekoda Watson from the active/PUP list. They also activated safety Marcel Harris and linebacker Malcolm Smith from the active/non-football injury list.
Smith’s return is the biggest, seeing as he was the team’s biggest free agent pickup last offseason, before a torn pectoral early in camp cost him his season. He sustained a lower leg injury before 2018 camp began, and will practice for the first time today.
“The prudent thing is to give him a couple days right at the start just to make sure he feels good and we feel good,” general manager John Lynch said on report day.
Smith, a USC product that spent the first three years of his career with the Seattle Seahawks, and two with the Oakland Raiders, has 354 career tackles since 2011. Now that he’s has had a few days to get acclimated and rest up the lower leg, he’ll get right into the mix with Brock Coyle and Fred Warner on the inside.
Cooper, one of the players who will be vying for the open right guard spot, is a former first-round pick out of North Carolina, and was signed this offseason after two years with the Dallas Cowboys.
Taylor, who will also participate in his first practice of training camp, joins a receiving corps that’s already looked very strong so far, so that should make things even more competitive. Taylor caught 43 passes for 430 yards and two touchdowns last season.
Watson, who signed a three-year, $6 million deal last March, played in 14 games last season, but made just three solo tackles, with one assist.
Harris, the 49ers’ sixth-round pick in the 2018 draft, missed the entire 2017 season due to a torn Achilles, but piled up 102 tackles and two interceptions between 2014 and 2016 for Florida.
In other transactional news, the 49ers signed tight end Wes Saxton to a one-year deal, and in a corresponding move, waived cornerback C.J. Goodwin. The 6-foot-4, 235-pound Saxton was originally signed by the New York Jets as an undrafted free agent in 2015, and played in one game that season while shuttling between the practice squad and active roster.
After the Jets released Saxton on Sept. 3, 2016, he signed with the Washington Redskins practice squad, where he spent the rest of the season. After spending part of the 2017 offseason with the Redskins and Buffalo Bills, he signed with the Lions on June 4, 2018, but was waived on June 14. The South Alabama product will wear No. 43.
Goodwin, who played in 14 games in 2016 for the Atlanta Falcons, originally joined the 49ers after the team claimed him off waivers from the New York Giants on May 15, 2018.