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49ers activate running back Hill for game vs. Bengals

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CINCINNATI -- Four days after signing with the 49ers’ practice squad, veteran running back Brian Hill is set to step on the field with his new team.

The 49ers on Saturday elevated Hill from the practice squad to serve in a backup role in the Week 14 game against the Cincinnati Bengals. 

The 49ers have a shortage of running backs and cornerbacks heading into Sunday's game. The team's already-thin cornerback situation got even worse with the news veteran Dontae Johnson will not be available due to a personal matter.

Coach Kyle Shanahan on Friday said if Johnson were able to join the team in Cincinnati, he would be in the starting lineup. The 49ers on Saturday placed starting cornerback Emmanuel Moseley on injured reserve with a high ankle sprain.

The 49ers elevated cornerback Saivion Smith from the practice squad. Smith appeared in six games with the Dallas Cowboys last season. He is expected to see considerable playing time on special teams.

Jeff Wilson Jr. is likely to be the 49ers’ starting running back Sunday with leading rusher Elijah Mitchell ruled out for the game with a concussion and knee issue. Wilson played just two offensive snaps last week after his surgically repaired knee flared up on him.

“I thought he had a real good week,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said of Wilson. “I think stuff that was acting up on him last week was not a factor this week and he had three good days.”


JaMycal Hasty is likely to be the 49ers’ third-down back with Hill available for special teams and on offense, if needed.

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Hill (6-foot-1, 220 pounds) appeared in 45 games over the past four seasons with Cincinnati and Atlanta.

He has 209 career rushing attempts for 982 yards (4.7 average) with three touchdowns. He also has 38 receptions for 313 yards and one touchdown.

The 49ers on Friday ruled out Mitchell, Moseley, special-teams player Trenton Cannon (concussion), linebacker Dre Greenlaw (groin) and defensive lineman Maurice Hurst (calf) due to injuries.

Both Cannon was also placed on injured reserve Saturday.

Wide receiver Deebo Samuel (groin) will be a game-day decision. He is listed as questionable to play against the Bengals.

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