SANTA CLARA ? Running back Thomas Clayton, who led the 49ers in rushing the past two exhibition seasons, is out for the year with a knee injury.

Clayton sustained a torn anterior-cruciate ligament in his right knee Friday in the 49ers? exhibition opener against the Denver Broncos. He right leg planted awkwardly as Broncos safety Vernon Fox tackled him in the fourth quarter.

Clayton was placed on the waived/injured list. If he clears waivers, Clayton automatically reverts back to the 49ers and will go on injured reserve.

After two impressive exhibition seasons, Clayton had started to get on the radar screen of teams around the league. His name had come up in trade rumors in recent weeks, league sources said. The Eagles are believed to be a team that had expressed interest in his services.

?It?s hard to miss him,? 49ers coach Mike Singletary said. ?If you look at him on film, he?s the kind of guy who?s going as fast as he can go and as hard as he can go.?

The 49ers signed rookie fullback Bill Rentmeester (6-0, 254) of Wisconsin. Rentmeester originally signed with the Chargers as a free agent. The Chargers waived him Aug. 5.

Also, fullback Zak Keasey is expected to miss 8-10 weeks with a broken forearm, Singletary said. The club did not make any roster move with Keasey, leaving open the possibility of carrying him on their 53-man roster to open the season.


Linebacker Patrick Willis (ankle) and tight end Delanie Walker (concussion) are scheduled to return to practice today, Singletary said.

Cornerback Tarell Brown (toe) is scheduled to resume running. Running back Michael Robinson (groin) and guard David Baas (foot) are listed as day-to-day.

For more on the 49ers, go to Instant 49ers at You can reach Staff Writer Matt Maiocco via email at

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