49ers acquire LB Gerald Hodges from Vikings

Gerald Hodges, a fourth-round pick out of Penn State in 2013, started three of four games with Minnesota this season. Ann Heisenfelt/AP Photo

The San Francisco 49ers might be in the middle of an offensive lull, but the team made a move Tuesday to address the defense in acquiring linebacker Gerald Hodges from the Minnesota Vikings for backup center Nick Easton and a sixth-round draft pick.

Hodges, a fourth-round pick out of Penn State in 2013, has started 10 of the 29 games in which he has appeared for the Vikings, though he has started three of four this season. Starting at middle linebacker, he had eight tackles -- one off a career high -- in Minnesota’s 20-3 season-opening loss to the 49ers on Sept. 14.

He has 20 tackles and a pass defensed this season, though he would presumably challenge Michael Wilhoite inside the 49ers' 3-4 defense, next to NaVorro Bowman, another Penn State product.

Easton was acquired by the 49ers on Sept. 5 in trade with the Baltimore Ravens for a conditional seventh-round draft pick. Trading away a backup center could mean the 49ers believe Daniel Kilgore will be ready to play as soon as he’s eligible to come off the PUP list following Week 6.