Friday, August 8, 2014
49ers' D-line: walking wounded
By Bill Williamson
BALTIMORE -- The defensive line may be the San Francisco 49ers' most talented position. However, it is currently also its most beat-up position.
The unit, which is currently decimated by injury, had just four healthy defensive linemen by the end of Thursday night's 23-3 loss at the Baltimore Ravens. Coach Jim Harbaugh said the team may need to add at the position to help through the preseason.
Here is a player-by-player look at the health report:
Justin Smith: The 49ers' starter, who hasn't practiced in training camp, is returning from offseason shoulder injury. His absence is not a major concern. Smith, who turns 35 next month, will be ready for the season.
Ray McDonald: This starter has rested a lot in training camp as well. Expect him to be fine once the regular-season lights come on.
Glenn Dorsey: The starting nose tackle had surgery this week for a torn bicep. He will be out for a major chunk of the season -- if not the entire season.
Tank Carradine: His first NFL action Thursday night saw him play 60 snaps because all of the injuries to other players. Carradine had a nice night with eight tackles and a sack. He missed his rookie season with a torn ACL. Carradine looks good, as expected.
Quinton Dial: This second-year player has been a monster. Like Carradine, he played nearly the entire game because of injuries. He had 10 tackles and two forced fumbles. He could start for Dorsey.
Tony Jerod-Eddie: He is one of the few healthy veterans and is a fine rotational player.
Demarcus Dobbs: Dobbs suffered an ankle sprain Thursday night. The 49ers will be careful, but initial thoughts are it isn't serious.
Ian Williams: He began last season as the starting nose tackle. But he suffered a severe broken leg in Week 2 at Seattle that required four surgeries. The team is hopeful he can return early in the season.
Kaleb Ramsey: The seventh-round pick has been dealing with an undisclosed injury all camp. He was good in the offseason and has a future, but it is not known when he will be able to play.
Lawrence Okoye: The raw athletic Okoye suffered a foot/ankle injury Thursday. The X-rays were negative, but he was in obvious pain after the game.
Mike Purcell: The young nose tackle played a lot Thursday night. He was pushed around some, but he had a nice camp and should get more playing time to try to prove himself.
Will Tukuafu: The former defensive lineman is now a fullback, but he had to play on the defensive line for four plays Thursday in an emergency. That could continue for a bit.