The 49ers signed free agent fullback Owen Marecic, a favorite of coach Jim Harbaugh while at Stanford, to a one-year contract, the club announced Tuesday.
Marecic, who was released following two seasons with the Cleveland Browns, takes the roster spot that was vacated when the 49ers placed nose tackle Ian Williams on injured reserve. Williams underwent season-ending surgery to repair a broken right ankle on Monday.
Marecic (6 foot, 245 pounds) played for Harbaugh at Stanford. As a senior, Marecic was an All-Pac-10 first-team selection at fullback and was recognized as a second-team selection at linebacker. The Browns selected him in the fourth round of the 2011 draft. In 24 career games (six starts), Marecic had just four carries for 8 yards and five receptions for 31 yards. He will be expected to be a core special-teams contributor with the 49ers.
The 49ers will enter Sunday's game against the Indianapolis Colts with six-year veteran Glenn Dorsey taking over as the starting nose tackle in place of Williams. Tony Jerod-Eddie is expected to serve as Dorsey's backup.