49ers sign rookie LB Austin Calitro, Smith placed on IR
The 49ers wasted no time in filling an open training camp roster spot left vacant by linebacker Malcolm Smith.
The former Super Bowl MVP was placed on a season ending injury reserve list after suffering a torn pectoral muscle in Saturday’s open practice, and will be replaced by rookie free agent Austin Calitro.
After originally going un-drafted, the six-foot Connecticut native from Villanova University signed with the New York Jets on May 5, but was waived by the team on May 15.
During his time at Villanova (2012-16), Calitro appeared in 48 games and registered 220 tackles, 26 tackles for loss, 8.5 sacks, eight passes defended, three forced fumbles and two interceptions.
Calitro finished his senior season, in 2016, tied for the team led with 86 tackles and also registered 12 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks, earning First-Team All-CAA honors.
In 2015, he led the team in tackles (90) and forced fumbles (three). Calitro finished the season with 11.5 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks while earning Third-Team All-CAA honors.
During his sophomore year, Calitro played in all 14 games and registered 33 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, one interception and one pass defensed.
After redshirting his freshman season, in 2012, he appeared in 10 games and had 11 tackles the following year in 2013.
With the new addition of Calitro, San Francisco can now continue to put three different defensive units on the field. With that being said, it is highly unlikely that Calitro will be vying for the starting position at weak-side linebacker. That appears to be a match-race between five-year veteran Ray-Ray Armstrong and first-round draft pick Reuben Foster.