The San Francisco 49ers suffered their first major injury of training camp with linebacker Darius Fleming tearing his left ACL. With the prospect of surgery and nine-months of recovering from the injury, Fleming was waived by the 49ers. San Francisco signed rookie free agent linebacker Travis Johnson to take his place on the roster.
Fleming missed his rookie season last year with the Niners recovering from the same injury. He suffered the injury for the second time at Sunday’s practice. It was reported he was covering a kickoff at practice and when he changed directions, the linebacker fell to the ground.
Fleming was selected in the fifth-round of the 2012 draft and he had an opportunity at training camp to win a job backing up inside linebackers Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman. He can return to the 49ers if he clears waivers, but he would be placed on the injured reserve list.
Johnson went to San Jose State and in his senior season he posted 65 tackles and 13 sacks, and won WAC Defensive Player of the Year. With 32 career sacks in college he finished as the all-time sacks leader at San Jose State. Johnson will be competing with backup linebackers Michael Wilhoite, rookie Nick Moody and Nate Stupar for a spot on the roster.
Fleming tweeted a positive message on Sunday, presumably in response to his season ending injury:
“Adversity not only builds character but it reveals it”
— Darius Fleming (@dfleming58) July 28, 2013