SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- At this point, it appears unlikely rookie 49ers defensive lineman Cornellius "Tank" Carradine will make his NFL debut Sunday.
Asked Thursday if he expects to play against visiting Carolina, Carradine said “probably not, with it being my first week back.”
The likely delay is not considered to be a setback. Carradine was activated to the 53-man roster during the bye week. He suffered a torn ACL last season while at Florida State. He still may need a limited amount of time to prepare to play in the NFL.
San Francisco defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said Thursday that Carradine is still working through the injury and learning the playbook. Carradine said it has been a challenge to come into the NFL off an injury, but he is feeling better daily.
“I’m on a good pace,” Carradine said. “I expect to be able to help this team this season.”
Carradine was taken with the No. 40 overall pick. Had he not been injured, many scouts projected he would have been taken within the first 15 picks.