There is a chance they could get some relief in the form of rookies Tank Carradine and Quinton Dial. Both players have been on the Physically Unable to Perform list. They are both eligible to practice next week. Conceivably, both players could be activated by the 49ers next month.
However, defensive coordinator Vic Fangio tempered that talk Thursday by saying both youngsters need to be more than healthy to start helping at the NFL level.
“These guys have got to not only be able to play physically, they’ve got to be able to execute,” Fangio said. “It’s no good just throwing a guy out there and making mistakes. So, it’s a very fluid situation.”
Fangio said both Carradine and Dial missed a huge part of the rookie process that they can’t make up this year.
“When they’re ready, and I have no idea when that’ll be, they’ll place them,” Fangio said. “We’ll activate them and play them. But, until then, I think it’d be a mistake to put them out there too early.”
I wouldn’t necessarily take Fangio’s words of cautious as a sure sign that neither player will help this season. He is just reminding people there is a process. If I had to guess, I’d think Carradine will be in the rotation in the stretch run.