Rookie D-linemen could make debuts on Sunday

Fangio: Adding D-lineman this week 'very possible'

Rookie D-linemen could make debuts on Sunday
October 17, 2013, 1:15 pm
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Vic Fangio on Mike Purcell: "He’s versatile. He’s experienced when you compare him to Quinton and Tank. So he’s ready to go, if needed." (AP)

Quinton Dial (71) is recovering from toe surgery; Tank Carradine (95) is recovering from an ACL tear suffered at Florida State. (AP)  

SANTA CLARA – Quinton Dial and Tank Carradine took part Wednesday in their first full practices since the 49ers drafted them in April.

Originally, the plan might have been to bring them along slowly and see if they could begin making contributions on the field after the bye week.

Well, so much for that plan.

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“That would obviously be good in a perfect world,” 49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said. “But we’re not in a perfect world right now with the status of our defensive line. So we got to do what we got to do.”

Nose tackle Glenn Dorsey, who took over as the starter after Ian Williams’ season-ending fractured ankle, is not likely to be available Sunday due to a hamstring strain. Tony Jerod-Eddie, who originally signed with the 49res last year as an undrafted free agent, is expected to get his first NFL start after seeing action in six career games.

Demarcus Dobbs is the only other healthy backup defensive lineman. So the 49ers are likely to add a player to their 53-man roster for Sunday’s game. Nose tackles Dial and Mike Purcell, who has spent the first six weeks on the practice squad, are the most likely candidates to be activated for Sunday’s game against the Tennessee Titans.

“We might have to bring one or both of them up,” Fangio said.

Dial, a fifth-round draft pick from Alabama, has been rehabilitating after surgery in January to repair torn ligaments and tendons in his big toe. After participating in a walk-through practice Tuesday, Dial made an impressive first showing on the practice field.

“He practiced yesterday, got a bunch of reps in (and) did fine,” Fangio said. “I want to see where he’s at today. Sometimes the day after kind of tells you the story, too. So we’ll see where he’s at today and tomorrow. We don’t have to make any of those decisions until Saturday.”

The 49ers are scheduled for a two-hour afternoon practice on Thursday. After a lighter practice on Friday, the team will fly to Nashville.

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Purcell, an undrafted rookie from Wyoming, might have the advantage because he took part in the 49ers’ entire offseason program, training camp and the four exhibition games.

“Mike’s been able to go in there and battle in the trenches for us,” Fangio said. “He’s versatile. He’s experienced when you compare him to Quinton and Tank. So he’s ready to go, if needed.”

Carradine, a second-round draft pick, is returning from an ACL tear that cut short his final season at Florida State. Carradine appears to be on pace for a potential promotion to the 53-man roster after the games Sunday at Tennessee and the following week against the Jacksonville Jaguars in London.

“Man, they came back yesterday and it was amazing to see,” 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis said. “You can tell they’ve been working hard. . . . Those are going to be guys, they are going to have to come in and play and make a difference for us. I know they will. They’re good kids and they work hard. We’re here to help them and implement them into the defense.”

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Dial and Carradine, who remain on the reserve/non-football injury list, have attended meetings since coming to the team. Both should have a firm grasp of their responsibilities within the 49ers’ defense.

“They got to show it on the field that they know what to do rather than in a meeting room,” Fangio said. “And they’re in the process of doing that. Overall, based on this is Day 1 for them, and no OTAs, no training camp, I thought they both did fine.”