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49ers sign LB Elijah Lee; Waiving OL John Theus

Sep 13, 2017 at 9:15 AM--

In the wake of rookie linebacker Reuben Foster's high-ankle sprain, the San Francisco 49ers are signing linebacker Elijah Lee from the Minnesota Vikings practice squad to their 53-man roster, per Adam Caplan. To make room on the roster, the 49ers are waiving offensive lineman John Theus, per a report by the Sacramento Bee. Theus was inactive for Sunday's game against the Carolina Panthers. He is eligible for the 49ers' practice squad and could be re-signed if he clears waivers.

On Tuesday, the 49ers worked out linebackers Sean Spence and Donald Butler. Spence re-signed with the Indianapolis Colts on Wednesday and, according to NBC Sports Bay Area, Butler was not going to sign with the 49ers.

Lee, 21, was a seventh-round draft pick out of Kansas State by the Vikings in April's draft. He was among the players that visited with the 49ers leading to the draft so there is some familiarity with the linebacker. Lee was waived on September 2 during the team's 53-man roster cut-down and then signed to Minnesota's practice squad.

During his college career with the Wildcats, Lee had 209 total tackles, 18.5 tackles for loss, 11 sacks, five forced fumbles, and five interceptions.

Foster is expected to miss a few weeks with head coach Kyle Shanahan indicating on Monday that the rookie linebacker might be unavailable for at least a month.

"[Head athletic trainer Jeff Ferguson] didn't give me an exact date because we don't know exactly with Reuben," Shanahan said. "We're going to put him in a boot here for a little bit but those tend to be a month, a little more, but I can't put exactly a date on it. That's my experience with high-ankle sprains."

During an interview with KNBR on Tuesday, defensive coordinator Robert Saleh said the injury might be a "blessing in disguise."

"He'll be in all the meetings," Saleh said. "For him to be able to sit back and absorb all the information after getting a week's worth of game time, for a rookie, believe it or not, I feel like it's almost going to be a blessing in disguise where he can just sit back. He's experienced preseason. He's experienced the game.

"And now to just watch it all from the outside, get his body back in working order where he can just kind of let things come to him rather than in the game just kind of going and going and going where he never gets to sit back and observe everything. That usually doesn't happen until their second year. For him to get this knowledge, I almost feel like it's going to be a blessing in disguise for him and the organization."

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