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49ers bring in veteran linebacker Spikes, waive Moore

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- The San Francisco 49ers waived veteran linebacker Brandon Moore on Sunday, opening a roster spot for two-time Pro Bowl linebacker Takeo Spikes.

Spikes signed with the 49ers on Sunday, the team announced. Terms of the deal were undisclosed.

Spikes spent 10 seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals, Buffalo Bills and Philadelphia Eagles. Last year with the Eagles, he tore his rotator cuff in the 14th game and missed the final two contests. He finished with 86 tackles, including 63 solo stops and one sack.

Spikes visited the 49ers in March but did not take a physical.

Spikes will likely start alongside the NFL's reigning Defensive Rookie of the Year Patrick Willis at inside linebacker in the team's 3-4 defense.

"It's going to be one of the strongest linebacking corps in the middle with him and Patrick," said first-year 49er defensive end Justin Smith, who teamed with Spikes in Cincinnati.

"As far as football goes, he's just a leader. He's got that quality about him. He knows his stuff. He pays attention to his film study. He's prepared. He's the type of guy you need on a defense. That's a plus."

Moore started 10 games in 2005 and 11 in 2006, when he led the team in tackles with 114 and sacks with 6½. He lost his starting job last year.

Jeff Ulbrich started the 49ers' exhibition opener Friday night against the Oakland Raiders at inside linebacker next to Willis. Rookie Larry Grant is behind Ulbrich on the depth chart while Dontarrious Thomas, a free-agent pickup, is behind Willis.

Thomas had a team-leading eight tackles in his 49ers debut. He primarily played special teams with the Minnesota Vikings last year.

"I think it showed some glimpses of what I can do," Thomas said. "I'm still learning the defense. It was a solid game."

Notes: Offensive tackle Damane Duckett will undergo surgery on his left knee and be placed on injured reserve, ending his season. Duckett has a broken bone under his kneecap that needs to be repaired. With Duckett going on IR, the 49ers have another open roster spot.

Information from the Associated Press was included in this report

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