Jim Harbaugh this morning said the 49ers "dodged a bullet" with a potential disastrous injury to Ray McDonald. The team's starting left defensive end left Sunday's game in the third quarter after experiencing a sharp pain in his left arm. McDonald didn't return and feared a torn bicep, an injury that could have knocked him out for the rest of the season.
Instead it's something less severe.
"We may have dodged a bullet there," Harbaugh said on KNBR radio's morning show. "It looks like Ray might have walked one off." Harbaugh said he hadn't yet spoken to McDonald but received a positive report from the team's medical staff. McDonald had an MRI on the arm Monday afternoon.
The 49ers also don't have any tryouts scheduled for today, another indication that McDonald won't miss an extended period or perhaps any games at all.
It was the second straight week Harbaugh was able to use both expressions. Against the Rams in Week 4, left tackle Joe Staley went down with what appeared, from Staley's reaction, to be a bad leg injury. Instead, there was only a minor sprain and Staley played, and played well, the following week against the Texans.
Second-year player Tony Jerod-Eddie entered the game for McDonald and made an immediate impact. He had an interception when he surprised Matt Schaub by dropping back into coverage. "We've seen him in practice," Harbaugh said of Jerod-Eddie, who also serves as the backup nose tackle. "So we know he's ready and doing a good job."
A day earlier, Harbaugh said the 49ers were expecting reinforcements in the form of rookie defensive linemen Tank Carradine and Quinton Dial. Both can begin practicing with the 49ers a week from today. At that point, they can be added to the 53-man roster any time in a three-week span.
Because neither rookie has ever had an NFL practice, defensive coordinator Vic Fangio is likely to take them along slowly. And it may be that neither is activated until just before the team's bye week, which would give them an extra week of practice before they appeared in a game. Carradine likely will be a backup at defensive end; Dial at nose tackle.
-- Matt Barrows