Harris out for season; Jean-Francois ill

Updated: July 29, 2009, 9:27 PM ET
Associated Press

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- San Francisco cornerback Walt Harris was placed on injured reserve Wednesday, two months after surgery on his right knee put the former Pro Bowl player's career in jeopardy.

Harris tore a ligament in his knee during minicamp workouts on May 19 in a collision with receiver Dominique Zeigler.

The 34-year-old Harris underwent surgery later in the month. San Francisco signed veteran cornerback Dre' Bly just one day after Harris' injury, clearly indicating Harris had no shot of playing this year.

Harris, a 13-year pro, has never missed more than four games in an NFL season. He had been a mainstay on the 49ers' defense since 2006, when he made the Pro Bowl with eight interceptions.

He has 35 interceptions in a career that includes stops in Chicago, Indianapolis and Washington. He made three interceptions last year while starting all 16 games of the 49ers' sixth consecutive losing season.

Bly is expected to start opposite Nate Clements in the 49ers' defensive backfield, but Tarell Brown and Shawntae Spencer will push for playing time when training camp opens Saturday.

Harris' move to injured reserve opens up another roster spot for the 49ers, who could look to sign another defensive lineman while Ray McDonald is sidelined early on by a knee injury.

One day after San Francisco's rookies reported to the club's training complex, the 49ers also placed seventh-round pick Ricky Jean-Francois on the non-football illness list. The former LSU defensive lineman apparently has a minor stomach illness that shouldn't keep him out of much practice time.


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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