When word broke that the 49ers were going to sign linebacker Clark Haggans, it seemed like a move designed to keep the team from playing with just three outside linebackers for the second straight season.
As it turns out, signing Haggans merely allowed them to maintain that number of outside backers. The team announced Monday that they have placed Parys Haralson on injured reserve. Haralson had been out of practice of late with an undisclosed injury, which seemed to occur in the team’s third preseason game against the Broncos. Cam Inman of the Bay Area News Group pinpointed the play he believes ended Haralson’s season, which occurred in the second quarter of that game and ended with Haralson tending to his left arm.
Haralson is not eligible to come back in eight weeks because the team put him on injured reserve today instead of Tuesday afternoon, which means that the Niners will be without a player who started 58 of their last 59 games. He wasn’t slated to start this season with Aldon Smith taking on more responsibilities in his second season, but Haralson still projected to a big role on the defense.
Haggans will now be the one filling that role, something he should be prepared to do after spending much of his career as a starter for the Cardinals and Steelers. The only potential hangup to that solution is that Haggans could face league discipline as a result of a DUI arrest, his second since entering the NFL. There will be a hearing on a potential suspension this week, the results of which could cause the 49ers to resume the hunt for help at the position.