After missing the first 29 games of his NFL career due to a knee injury sustained in a pre-draft workout, 49ers defensive lineman Kentavius Street is set to play in his first game in nearly two years.
The 49ers activated Street off injured reserve Saturday to take the roster spot vacated when defensive tackle D.J. Jones was placed on injured reserve. Jones is out for the season with a severe high-ankle sprain.
“It’s something I’ve been preparing for for a while now, so I’m extremely excited for the opportunity,” Street said this week about the likelihood he would be activated to the 49ers’ 53-man roster.
Street is a versatile defender who can line up at any position along the 49ers’ defensive line. He will be counted on to be a rotational player and provide depth. The 22-year-old primarily played defensive end during the offseason program and training camp, but could see more action at defensive tackle.
“The great thing about our defense is, whether you’re inside, outside, playing on the tight end, playing on the guard, it’s relatively the same," Street said. "It’s just a bigger person in front of you. It’s not really much of a change.”
Jones started 11 games at nose tackle before sustaining the season-ending injury on Sunday against the New Orleans Saints.
Street was expected to be a second- or third-round draft pick 2018 before he tore his ACL during a workout with the New York Giants. He spent his entire rookie season on the non-football injury list. Street experienced discomfort in training camp and was moved to injured reserve one day after the team’s cut to 53 players.