What does Glenn Dorsey injury mean for Quinton Dial?

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

The 49ers suffered another injury on their defensive line, as nose tackle Glenn Dorsey suffered a hamstring strain. We break down all the implications. New to Niners Nation? Sign up here and join the discussion!

The San Francisco 49ers suffered a particularly tough injury on Sunday, as nose tackle Glenn Dorsey left the game with a hamstring strain in the first quarter. There is no word yet on his status, but when Jim Harbaugh was asked about Dorsey and plans moving forward, he was quick to mention Quinton Dial and Tank Carradine.

"Well, we've got some guys that'll be in the mix this week, [DL] Quinton Dial and we'll see about [DT] Tank Carradine, but I think he's ready. I think both those guys are ready and can start practicing this week."

The trainers stretched out Dorsey while they could, but even with a questionable status, it seemed unlikely he would return. We are now left to wait and see what the medical report bares out for Dorsey. Hamstring injuries are tricky given how they can be aggravated. The 49ers have a regular week of practice, but I'm not exactly optimistic that he will be ready to go next Sunday against the Titans.

If Dorsey can play, that would be great. But what are the 49ers left with if he is unable to play?

Tony Jerod-Eddie took over at nose tackle for Dorsey. However, the extra playing time seemed to impact him as well, as he dealt with cramps at one point. Demarcus Dobbs got extra playing time because of that, and it sounds like he too dealt with some cramps.

The 49ers defensive line depth is rather limited at this point in light Ian Williams broken ankle, and now this. But the team does have some options to consider. Quinton Dial would be the primary possibility. Vic Fangio was not exactly wild about the idea of Dial getting out there with no practice thus far. Dial is eligible to come off the NFI list and start practicing this week, but obviously an NFL practice and an NFL game are two completely different animals.

Given Dorsey's injury, it is entirely possible Dial gets the nod as the backup nose tackle. Of course, the 49ers have another option on their practice squad. Mike Purcell got some work in the preseason, and has been hanging with the practice squad through the first six weeks. Given that Dial has done nothing all too football-specific since joining the 49ers, it is entirely possible the team will see what he can do this week, while also working Purcell into the mix. Dial can practice without actually joining the 53-man roster, so there is some flexibility.

The odds seem good the 49ers will make some kind of roster move to boost their defensive line depth. Dorsey's injury potentially hurts nose tackle depth, but also hurts the depth behind Ray McDonald and Justin Smith. The 49ers need more bodies ASAP as they get ready for the Tennessee Titans.

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