49ers bring back Costanzo

The 49ers are bringing back key special teamer Blake Costanzo from 2011's famed "Tony Montana Squad." He joins a deep competition at middle linebacker as the 49ers hope to fill an early-season void left by NaVorro Bowman's knee injury.

The competition at middle linebacker just got a little bit deeper.

After adding rookies Chris Borland and Shayne Skov to the already-talented group this offseason, the San Francisco 49ers will be bringing back former special teams standout Blake Constanzo, according to multiple reports Tuesday.

The 49ers entered the offseason knowing NaVorro Bowman was likely to miss at least the first six weeks of the regular season after tearing two ligaments in his left knee in the NFC Championship game. Costanzo also joins Michael Wilhoite, who proved as a capable replacement when Patrick Willis missed time early in 2013 with hand and groin injuries. Nick Moody, a sixth-round pick in last year's draft struggled to get on the field in his first season and is also competing for a roster spot.

Costanzo was second on the 49ers in special teams tackles in 2011 behind C.J. Spillman according to Pro Football Focus. He left the team in early 2012 to play two seasons for the Chicago Bears.

San Francisco saw a drop in its special teams play in 2012 following Costanzo's departure - most notably in the Super Bowl loss to the Ravens when Jacoby Jones returned the opening kickoff in the second half for a touchdown.

The 49ers have yet to announce the move, but will have to release a player off the 90-man roster to make room for the 30-year-old Costanzo.

UPDATE 1:12 P.M.: The 49ers announced they waived offensive lineman Al Netter to make room on the 90-man roster for Costanzo.


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