The San Francisco 49ers have officially placed linebacker Malcolm Smith on injured reserve. To take his place on the roster, the team has also announced the signing of rookie linebacker Austin Calitro, who will wear number 47, to a two-year deal.

Calitro was signed as an undrafted free agent out of Villanova by the New York Jets on May 5 and then waived 10 days later.

Calitro broke into the Wildcats' starting lineup at the end of the 2014 season and had 33 tackles with 2.5 for a loss. As a junior in 2015, he led the team with 90 tackles, 11.5 for a loss, and 4.5 sacks. He followed that up with 86 tackles, 12 for a loss, and 3.5 sacks as a senior in 2016. He was named first-team all-conference last fall.

Lance Zierlein of NFL Media had the following to say about Calitro in his scouting report:

"Possesses a compact frame and plays with a good motor and above average instincts that allow him to make up for some of his speed and athletic deficiencies. He is a likely inside linebacker, but he might offer some value as a 4-3 SAM linebacker. Calitro is a solid football player who finds his way to the football and his intelligence, work ethic and instincts give him a shot of becoming a quality NFL backup."

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On Saturday, in front of over 25,000 fans during an open practice held at Levi's Stadium, Smith was injured during team drills while chasing running back Matt Breida. It appeared that Breida's helmet impacted Smith in the chest. Smith exited the practice and the 49ers already knew that the injury to his chest was likely to be more serious than hoped. An MRI following the practice session revealed that Smith had suffered a torn pectoral muscle. The results of the MRI were first reported by Ian Rapoport of NFL.com.

Smith signed a five-year, $26.5 million deal in March, leaving the Oakland Raiders to join Robert Saleh's defense with the 49ers. Saleh was the defensive quality control coach in Seattle during Smith's first three seasons in the NFL. Smith was deemed a good fit for Saleh's defense and figured to be a large contributor this season.

The injury opens the door for rookie linebacker Reuben Foster, who had been competing with Smith for the starting weak-side linebacker job. Foster will now compete with Ray-Ray Armstrong for the right to replace Smith, who had been lining up next to NaVorro Bowman with the first-team defense in practices. Armstrong replaced Smith during practice following the injury on Saturday.

"That would be a big [injury] for us, just because we've been getting so many reps together, jelling together, and really talking about what the offense is trying to do to us throughout these OTAs and training camp," Bowman said on Saturday following the injury but before learning how severe it was. "That would be a loss but it's early. We have other guys that I feel like that can play at this level also."

Smith, 28, spent the previous two seasons with the Oakland Raiders, playing in 31 games, starting all but one, during that time. While in Oakland, he had 225 tackles, four sacks, nine passes defensed, two interceptions, and four forced fumbles.

Smith was a seventh-round selection out of the University of Southern California by the Seattle Seahawks in 2011. He won Super Bowl XLVIII with Seattle and was voted the MVP of the game.

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