Niners release Brandon Moore

(08-10) 12:49 PDT — The 49ers made a surprising move Sunday, releasing inside linebacker Brandon Moore, who led the team in tackles and sacks in 2006.

The move opens a roster spot that may be filled with free agent linebacker Takeo Spikes, a two-time Pro Bowl selection who was released in the offseason by Philadelphia after 10 years in the NFL.

Spikes was scheduled to visited the 49ers’ Santa Clara headquarters Sunday afternoon. Nolan said he would undergo a physical. He started 14 games for the Eagles last year before undergoing season-ending shoulder surgery.

“Looking down the road,” Nolan said, “I was pretty confident that in the end I was probably going to have to make a move with Brandon. “Doing it at this time is partly because he has been a loyal 49er for the last six years. This gives him an opportunity to get with another squad.He wasn’t getting as many reps as I know he’d like to have.”

The 49ers also placed offensive Damane Duckett on injured reserve. He incurred a broken bone in his kneecap last week and will undergo surgery, a club spokesman said.

Moore was listed on the depth chart behind Jeff Ulbrich at the strong-side inside (or Ted) linebacker spot. Offseason acquisition Dontarrious Thomas and rookie Larry Grant are competing at that spot.

Moore, 29, was entering his seventh year. The former Oklahoma player joined the club as a free agent in 2002. He started 10 games in ’05 after Ulbrich tore a biceps muscle. Moore ranked second on the team in tackles that year. In 2006 he started 11 games and finished with a team-high 114 total tackles, 6.5 sacks and four forced fumbles.

After the season he was named winner of the club’s Matt Hazeltine Award as the team’s most courageous and inspirational player.

But at the start of the 2007 season preseason, Moore was in the coaches’ doghouse for lackadaisical play.

He had been expected to start alongside rookie Patrick Willis. Instead, the 49ers moved Derek Smith to that position and put Moore on the bench.

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