The diagnosis of Damontre Moore’s dislocated left thumb last week was pretty simple.
You see, the top joint of the thumb dislocated. And if anyone needed any proof, the bone was easily visible after breaking through the skin.
Moore has experienced some injuries during his six seasons in the NFL, but this was the first time the 49ers' defensive end has seen anything quite like what he experienced last Monday against the Denver Broncos. The thumb was popped back into place, and seven stitches were required to sew up the skin.
Five nights later, Moore was back on the field, registering five tackles and two sacks in the 49ers' 27-17 preseason victory over the Kansas City Chiefs.
“I’m pleased, but I’m not satisfied,” Moore said. “I can always do better.”
Moore has bounced around the NFL. He even spent the spring playing for the San Diego Fleet of the short-lived Alliance of American Football. And he has done just about everything to put himself into serious consideration for a roster spot among the 49ers’ deep and talented group of defensive linemen.
“He’s a candidate. He’s done a real good job,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said. “You guys can see the plays he’s making. He’s been consistent with it, so it’s going to be tough when we get down to the final D-Line group, because we’ve definitely got a number of guys.
“But he’s doing all he can to make it real hard on us. I know it’s about other guys and the people he’s going against and who we think is going to be available for Week 1 and who is going to help us throughout the year. It’s a tough decision that I’m excited that we’re in a position to have to make.”
Moore, 26, broke in to the NFL as a third-round pick of the New York Giants in 2013. The past four seasons, he played three games with Miami, four with Seattle, three with Dallas and two with the Raiders.
The 49ers were prepared to sign Moore to a contract at the end of last season, but Moore was coming off a torn quad muscle and wanted to regain his confidence by playing in the AAF. He credits Fleet coach Mike Martz and defensive line coach Vince Amey for assisting him in making the most of the experience
Moore tied for second in the league with seven sacks. And although he received some “buzz” from other NFL teams, he said he never wavered from his verbal commitment to sign with the 49ers after the AAF season.
“I liked the league. It was unfortunate that it ended so early. For guys like me, coming off major injuries, it was good,” Moore said. “They (the 49ers) wanted to sign me to a future deal. I said I wanted to be more comfortable with my leg and make sure I still got it. They let me go do that. I performed well, and they kept their word with the contract.”
Moore said he feels good about the job he has done to put himself in position to win a roster spot with the 49ers -- or some other NFL team. Moore has a stiff challenge to get the thumbs-up from the 49ers, who have an abundance of skilled defensive linemen.
“I try not to pay attention to other people,” Moore said. “At the end of the day, all I can control is myself, and I’ve got to go out there and do my best job. And if I do my best job, everything will take care of itself.
"If it’s meant to ne, it’s meant to be. If it’s not, it’s not.”