The San Francisco 49ers have officially made the call for their 53rd roster spot. The team announced they activated rookie defensive tackle Quinton Dial from the Reserve/Non-Football Injury list. Dial underwent surgery on a turf toe injury shortly after the end of his college career, and was placed on the NFI list at the start of training camp. He began practicing on Tuesday, and is likely to dress for his first NFL game on Sunday.
The 49ers are activating Dial because of Glenn Dorsey's hamstring injury. The team indicated it would make a final determination on Saturday, and it looks like they do not expect Dorsey to be able to go on Sunday. He got a limited practice in on Friday, but with the potential for aggravating a hamstring injury, it is smart to play it safe.
We'll have more on Dial before tomorrow's game, but for now, we're looking at a big man who can do a lot of things along the defensive line. Tony Jerod-Eddie is likely to get the start at nose tackle, but Dial can fill in for him. Additionally, Dial and Demarcus Dobbs can both fill in at defensive end to rest Ray McDonald and Justin Smith.
This is not a shocking decision, but it's still interesting given that Dial's first ever NFL practice session was Tuesday's walkthrough. He has been rehabbing his toe since January. He has been able to learn the playbook and watch practice, but this week was the start of his on-field NFL career. That being said, all reports have been positive about his work this week. Vic Fangio said he was looking good for a guy who was just getting on the practice field. Patrick Willis told the media it was obvious he and Tank Carradine had been working hard.
Odds are pretty good he'll be active on Sunday against the Titans, so we'll see what kind of playing time he gets. Ray McDonald was fairly limited last week compared to Justin Smith's snap count, so it will be interesting to see how the 49ers work in Dobbs and Dial.