The San Francisco 49ers activated Daniel Kilgore from their injured reserve/physically unable to perform (IR/PUP) list ahead of their match against the Chicago Bears on Sunday. The offensive lineman has not played a game since sustaining an ankle injury last year. To make room for Kilgore, the team released linebacker Shayne Skov.
Kilgore started the first seven games with the 49ers for the 2014 season. The 27-year-old center suffered a severe leg injury during a game against the Denver Broncos on October 19, 2014, and was placed on IR one week after. He required follow-up surgery six months ago which involves inserting 12 screws and a plate into his leg. For this season, San Francisco put Kilgore in its IR/PUP list last August 31.
The injured lineman appeared in a total of 40 games since he was drafted by the 49ers back in 2011. He won the starting position at the beginning of the 2014 and was able to make starts prior to his injury. On Sunday, Kilgore expressed enthusiasm to be back in action and said, via his Twitter account, "Felt awesome to be back out there and be apart of a great team win. Want to say thank you to all the #NinerFaithful for all the support!"
Interestingly, the team did not activate rookie receiver DeAndre Smelter, who is on the non-football injury list. Smelter also tore his ACL on November last year while playing at Georgia Tech.
Kilgore was ranked as Pro Football Focus' 11th-best center last year. Marcus Martin, a 22-year-old, second-year center, has started in his place this season but struggled in the running game and pass protection.
As mentioned, San Francisco waived Shayne Skov in order to accommodate Kilgore into the team's 53-man roster. Skov played college football at Stanford and was able to register four special teams tackles in 11 games for the 2015 season. The linebacker was acquired by the 49ers as an undrafted free agent last year.
Meanwhile, quarterback Colin Kaepernick has been sidelined for two weeks now following surgery to address his torn labrum (shoulder cartilage) which he sustained late last month. While still in recovery, Kaepernick reportedly met with 49ers officials to talk about his possible future with the team. Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that the 49ers are still interested in having him back.
However, it seems that Kaepernick does not to return to San Francisco, now that the trust between him and the 49ers brass has "eroded beyond repair," according to CBS Sports. The quarterback was demoted for Blaine Gabbert during Week 9 and reports indicate that the former has not been entirely happy with that decision. Nevertheless, NFL.com noted that San Francisco's offense has functioned much more fluidly with Gabbert under center than when Kaepernick was in charge.