49ers Blog and Q&A

News, notes and reader questions about the San Francisco 49ers

September 16, 2013
Williams' injury sends 49ers in search of a nose tackle


Ian Williams is having surgery today and will be lost for the season, Jim Harbaugh said at his Monday press conference. That puts Glenn Dorsey in a starting role on the 49ers' defensive line and sends the team in search of a backup nose tackle. Harbaugh said the 49ers will make a decision on the position in the next day or two.

Williams was making his first start Sunday when he was hit low by the Seahawks right guard J.R. Sweezy while engaged with center Max Unger. That sort of "cut block" is legal in the NFL, but it drew the wrath of Williams' fellow defenders last night. Dorsey, a free-agent pick up by the 49ers this offseason, filled in well. He finished with five tackles and had one of the four sacks on quarterback Russell Wilson. "I thought he played well," Harbaugh said. "Had a lot of good snaps."

Williams played a snap at fullback in the first quarter before he was injured.

The 49ers had a number of potential backups at nose tackle this offseason. But two of them, Lamar Divens (hip) and Will Tukuafu (knee), were released while injured and cannot be re-signed until later this season. Another, rookie Quinton Dial, is on the non-football injury list and can't play until Week 7 at the earliest. One possibility is signing undrafted rookie Mike Purcell from the practice squad.

The 49ers will have an open roster spot when they place Williams on injured reserve.

Another injured player, safety Eric Reid, was asymptomatic after suffering a concussion last night. Reid still must go through the league-mandated protocol before returning to practice.

Harbaugh said Vernon Davis (hamstring) and Ray McDonald (ankle) were being examined today. "Nothing to report there," he said of McDonald.

-- Matt Barrows


Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.


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