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PHOENIX –- With injuries to the team’s top two tight ends, the 49ers on Saturday promoted rookie Asante Cleveland from the practice squad to the 53-man roster.
The 49ers released quarterback Josh Johnson, who won a roster spot with a strong exhibition season, to make room for Cleveland. Blaine Gabbert remains on the 49ers’ 53-man roster as the team’s backup to Colin Kaepernick.
Tight ends Vernon Davis (ankle) and Vance McDonald (knee) are both listed as questionable for Sunday’s game against the Arizona Cardinals. Neither player practiced this week, and it’s not known if either will be available for the key NFC West game.
Davis said he did some light running on Friday, and felt encouraged about his prospects of playing.
Derek Carrier is in line to receive a lot of playing time against the Cardinals. He caught three passes for 41 yards on Sunday against the Chicago Bears. Cleveland figures to be among the 46 active players against the Cardinals.
Cleveland, who originally signed with the 49ers as an undrated free agent from Miami, caught three passes for 22 yards and a touchdown in the exhibition season. He was among the team’s final cuts, but the 49ers went back and forth before finally adding him to their 10-player practice squad to open the regular season.