Jim Harbaugh hinted that Carradine would come up first from the non-football injury list, saying he has been working hard since being allowed to practice.
"We had an opportunity practice today and Tank Carradine was here," Harbaugh said on Tuesday. "By that, it could make him the first player activated to the 53. He’s still coming along and getting the feel back to playing 11-on-11 football.”
Carradine was the team's second round draft pick in the 2013 NFL Draft. Using a second-round draft pick acquired for Alex Smith, the 49ers traded down and selected him at 40th overall. He is listed as a DT on the roster but can also contribute at defensive end if necessary.
After tearing his ACL last fall, Carradine was placed on the non-football injury list at the start of the year but is expected to contribute immediately with his activation today. The 49ers are optimistic he can be a future defensive lineman who can be a mainstay for years to come.
"In our system, it’s one of the things we really liked is the versatility," general manager Trent Baalke said after drafting him. "He’s a little bit bigger than [DT] Ray [McDonald] was when Ray came out. Just a guy that we think can play the four technique, the five technique, can play in our sub package. Can kick down and play a three and also stay outside in the sub package. So, just a lot of position versatility with him."
Cunningham was signed by the team in early October after waiving FB/TE Owen Marecic. He was inactive for four consecutive games.