Rookie linebacker Bruce Carter, a second-round pick out of North Carolina, got his first opportunity to play with the defense Sunday and “did fine,” according to defensive coordinator Rob Ryan.
“The game is real fast for him, obviously,” Ryan said. “He did all right. We played him some in nickel and dime, so he got a little bit of everything just with limited calls.”
Carter didn’t register a tackle but Ryan noted that he made “a real nice play” when he broke up a third-down pass to Doug Baldwin in the third quarter. With starter Sean Lee out with a dislocated left wrist, Carter spelled veterans Keith Brooking and Bradie James.
Carter played on special teams in last week's game against Philadelphia, his first action since Nov. 20. That's when he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in a game against the Tar Heels' rival, North Carolina State. He wasn't able to practice with the team until Oct. 19.
“He'll be OK. It's tough with no training camp,” Ryan said of Carter. “You talk about throwing a kid in the fire, now that's what he's getting."
— Lori Dann