****UPDATE -- The 49ers announced they put Tukuafu on the waived/injured list. He was not on the team's injury report last week and he did not play in Sunday's game. Tukuafu evidently has been dealing with a minor knee issue recently. ********
With one defensive lineman, Demarcus Dobbs, returning from a one-game suspension, the 49ers on Tuesday released another, Will Tukuafu, a league source said. Tukuafu appeared in 14 regular-season games last season and was used as a defensive end, a fullback in the team's power formations, and mostly as a special teams player.
However, both Dobbs and Tony Jerod-Eddie passed Tukuafu on the depth chart at defensive end. Tukuafu was one seven players who was not in uniform for Sunday's game against the Packers, which foreshadowed today's move. Nose tackles Ian Williams and Glenn Dorsey also can play defensive end in the 49ers' 3-4 scheme, and both did so Sunday.
It will be interesting to see whether the 49ers' upcoming opponent, the Seahawks, make a move for Tukuafu. He originally signed with them as an undrafted free agent in 2010. More important, the Seahawks are light on defensive linemen. Chris Clemons, Cliff Avril and Bruce Irvin all missed the opener in Carolina. Seattle also drafted two defensive tackles - where Tukuafu would be the best fit. One of them, Jesse Williams, is on injured reserve. The other, Jordan Hill, is dealing with a bicep injury.
Adding a player and cutting another may become a Tuesday pattern for the 49ers later this season. They have several players on the physically unable to perform or non-football injury lists. When those players, such as receiver Mario Manningham or defensive end Tank Carradine, are healthy enough to return, the 49ers must find a spot on the 53-man roster to accommodate them. Those players cannot return until after Week 6.
Dobbs served a one-game suspension related to a marijuana-possession charge last year. Tukuafu is not eligible for the practice squad.
-- Matt Barrows