49ers' Anthony Davis Will Apply For Reinstatement, Justin Smith Next?

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Feb 27, 2016 07:30 AM EST
San Francisco 49ers offensive tackle Anthony Davis
San Francisco 49ers offensive tackle Anthony Davis will reportedly apply for reinstatement and wants to play in 2016."

The San Francisco 49ers front office and coaching staff are currently at the 2016 NFL Combine in Indianapolis, as they are looking to fill holes on their roster through the 2016 NFL Draft. The 49ers are expected to get a first-round pick early this season though, as their former 11th pick from the 2010 NFL Draft offensive tackle Anthony Davis will apply for reinstatement and wants to play this upcoming season, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

When Davis stepped away from the game after the 2014 season at 25 years old it was termed a retirement. The talented offensive lineman had always planned to return, and used his social media to post this message following his decison last year, "I'll be back in a year or so.. I'll be 26 or 27 years old. I'm taking time to allow my brain and body time to heal and recoup."

Davis missed nine games during 2014 season with multiple injuries, and wanted to take some time away from the game after suffering a concussion that had lingering symptoms, according to Pro Football Talk's Michael David Smith. The 6-foot-5, 323-pound offensive tackle could fill a huge hole on the 49ers offensive line, but it's unknown what shape the former first round pick will be in when he steps on the field.

San Francisco's front office was surely looking at offensive tackles with the seventh pick in the draft, and it's unknown if the addition of Davis back on their roster and reports of quarterback Colin Kaepernick seeking a trade could make them lean more towards taking a quarterback in the first round. The 49ers were already clearly heavily scouting quarterbacks prior to either of these reports, but it could only add more fuel to first-year head coach Chip Kelly and the 49ers front office in selecting a quarterback.

While it's unknown what route San Francisco plans to take with their first pick in the draft, another former player of the 49ers may be seeking a return to the league as well. Defensive end Justin Smith retired after a 14-year NFL career following the 2014 season, and now has interest in playing again, according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk.

There is one major difference between Smith's return and Davis' return though, as the former 49ers pass rusher reportedly wants to play somewhere other than San Francisco in 2016. Smith will turn 37 years old at the beginning of next season, but was still a force in the league recording 43 combined tackles, five sacks, and two forced fumbles in his last season.

The 49ers would still have Smith under contract for next season, and could look to see if they can garner any trade value for him around the league. It's unknown if any team would make a push for Smith this offseason, but at least one former 49er is coming out of retirement.

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