49ers agree to terms with former UK running back Alfonso Smith

San Jose Mercury NewsJuly 29, 2014 

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — The San Francisco 49ers addressed their injury-riddled running back corps Monday by agreeing to terms with former Arizona Cardinals running back Alfonso Smith, according to a league source.

Smith, a former University of Kentucky and Waggener High School star, joins a unit hit hard by injuries since training camp practices began Thursday. Kendall Hunter, the incumbent No. 2 back behind Frank Gore, sustained a season-ending knee injury Friday, then LaMichael James dislocated an elbow Sunday that could sideline him for a month.

"I'm a Niner Babeeeeee!" Smith posted on his Instagram account Monday night with a picture of a 49ers logo.

Smith (6-foot-1, 208 pounds) spent the past four seasons with the Cardinals, establishing himself as a pass-protecting back on third downs and as a core special-teams player. It's believed at least one other running back auditioned with the 49ers on Monday at the team's Santa Clara facility.

Smith joined the Cardinals as an undrafted free agent out of UK and spent most of his rookie season on the practice squad. He has 48 career carries for 156 yards and two touchdowns.

Smith is expected to sign his contract in time for Tuesday's practice. The 49ers could create a roster spot by placing Hunter on the season-ending injured reserve list.

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