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49ers fill 53rd roster spot with Leon McFadden

McFadden

The 49ers had been carrying an empty spot in the roster, possibly in the hopes that the league office would decide to reinstate linebacker Aldon Smith two games early.

It hasn’t happened, and so the 49ers have filled the last spot on the roster by promoting a defensive back from the practice squad.

The team announced that cornerback Leon McFadden has been added to the roster. A third-round pick of the Browns in the 2013 draft, McFadden joined the San Francisco practice squad on September 15.

Two weeks ago, multiple reports emerged that Smith’s nine-game suspension could be shortened. The ninth and final game comes next Sunday at New Orleans.

A decision to allow Smith back a game early so that he could face the Saints would do little to improve still-strained relations between the Saints and the league office, two years after the bounty fiasco.