The San Francisco 49ers have a chance to bring up another young talent from the practice squad. The team will be placing Dekoda Watson on injured reserve due to a calf injury, and head coach Kyle Shanahan thinks they will promote Pita Taumoepenu from the practice squad in his place. The team is working out some other options, but Taumoepenu likely has the edge.
Watson played SAM linebacker and special teams last season, but this year since coming off season-opening IR has focused on edge rusher and special teams. Specifically, he has been a rotational option at REO.
Defensive coordinator Robert Saleh has said in the past that Pita is viewed as a SAM option as opposed to edge rusher. Mark Nzeocha handles SAM work right now, but I would hope Pita would get a chance to give the coaching staff an in-game glimpse heading into the offseason.
He got limited work in the preseason prior to the finale game, but showed out solidly. It’s taken him time to show himself in practice the first three months, so I suppose we’ll find out quickly just how much he has shown the coaching staff. My guess is he primarily plays special teams for the time-being, but maybe he gets some defensive work as well.