SANTA CLARA -- The 49ers swapped out one special-teams ace for another Wednesday. Veteran Kassim Osgood returned on a one-year contract and filled the roster spot of rookie Nick Moody, who got placed on injured reserve with a designation to return from a broken right hand.

Teams are allowed to use the short-term IR designation only once, so it's a risky move to use it on a rookie backup rather than stow it away in case a front-line starter gets hurt.

"We decided it was in the best interest of the team," coach Jim Harbaugh said. "Moody, of course, is a special-teams player, a very valuable player. We wanted no drop off, and with Kassim's proven ability and experience, we feel he'll do a great job."

Osgood, a three-time Pro Bowler and 11th-year veteran, was among the final cuts Aug. 31. The North Salinas High product's return was first reported Monday night by the Monterey Herald's John Devine.

Had Osgood been on the opening-day roster, his $940,000 base salary would have been guaranteed.

Moody, a rookie inside linebacker, said he broke his right hand in the first half of Sunday's 34-28 win over the Green Bay Packers. Under the "designated to return" category, Moody will be eligible to practice after Week 7 and play after Week 9, which would be Nov. 10 against Carolina.

Moody confirmed he will not need require surgery and instead will be treated through rehabilitation. Moody played through the injury Sunday and his 23 snaps came strictly on special teams.


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Asked when exactly it happened, Moody said: "I don't even remember. I looked down and it was hurting. ... It wasn't that bad."

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