Thomas last played with the New Orleans Saints in 2014 before getting released in March. During his eight-year career with the Saints, Thomas, 30, averaged 4.6 yards per rushing attempt. His best season came in 2009, when he amassed 793 yards rushing in 14 games as a part of the Saints' committee of running backs, which included current 49er Reggie Bush.
To make room for Thomas, the 49ers placed Bush on season-ending injured reserve after suffering a knee injury after a first-quarter punt return in Sunday's 27-6 loss in St. Louis.
San Francisco is dealing with injuries to the top three running backs on their depth chart. Starter Carlos Hyde didn't play in last week's loss to the Rams because he continues to deal with a stress fracture in his left foot.
Additionally, rookie third-string running back Mike Davis suffered a hand injury Sunday, leaving former practice squad member Kendall Gaskins as the team's only available halfback in St. Louis. The 49ers' running backs Sunday combined for just 10 yards on 15 carries, a day after the team waived running back and punt returner Jarryd Hayne in favor of Gaskins.
Thomas (5-11, 210) last played at a game at San Francisco in the divisional round of the 2011 playoffs, when he was knocked out and fumbled near the goal line by then-49ers safety Donte Whitner in the first half. When the Saints hosted the 49ers in 2013, Thomas ran for 49 yards on 11 carries. Thomas has 28 career rushing touchdowns and 12 receiving.
The 49ers will host the Atlanta Falcons Sunday, reportedly with Blaine Gabbert under center after the team elected to bench starting quarterback Colin Kaepernick this week. With Gaskins, Draughn and Thomas, the 49ers might field a group of running backs Sunday that have been on the roster for eight days or fewer.
There was some practice squad Tuesday, as well. Defensive lineman Kaleb Ramsey was suspended by the NFL for violating the league's policy on performance enhancing substances.
Taking Ramsey's spot on the practice squad is cornerback Chris Davis, who signed with the Chargers in 2014 as an undrafted free agent out of Auburn. Davis, 24, made one start for San Diego last year and appeared in 12 games games, notching 12 tackles, and a forced fumble.
Davis (5-10, 201) also has experience as a kick off return man.
Chris Biderman is the Editor-in-Chief of Niners Digest and covers the 49ers from their headquarters in Santa Clara. Chris has been writing about the team since the spring of 2013. The Ohio State alum received his Journalism degree in 2011 and has been working in sports media since 2008. Chris, a Santa Rosa, Calif. native, is also a contributor to the Associated Press covering sports throughout the Bay Area. You can follow Chris on Twitter here.
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