The San Francisco 49ers have agreed to an injury settlement with defensive lineman Will Tukuafu. The 49ers waived/injured Tukuafu to make room for the return of Demarcus Dobbs, and in doing so, had to either come to a settlement or place him on injured reserve. The injury settlement came out to one game check.
In making the decision, a few things came into play. If the team placed Tukuafu on injured reserve, he would have been ineligible to return this season. In agreeing to an injury settlement, the 49ers leave open the door for his return. An injury settlement is not a "lump sum" of money, but rather is broken up into X amount of game checks. The team paid him a one-week prorated portion of his salary.
The big thing this provides for is the chance to re-sign Tukuafu later in the season. The CBA provides that a team can re-sign such a player six weeks after the end of the settlement period. So that means, Tukuafu was paid for the team's Week 2 game against the Seahawks, and now he waits six weeks to sign with the team. He can sign with another team in the meantime, but he waives all rights to compensation if the injury turns out to be more serious than originally expected.
In this case, six weeks from now, the team will already have the option of activating Tank Carradine and/or Quinton Dial from the NFI list. They are ineligible to return the first six weeks of the season. This does not mean they will be ready to return at the six week mark, and Vic Fangio would not speculate on that Thursday. However, come mid to late October, the 49ers will find themselves with several potential options for the defensive line. Dial is a guy who could potentially play nose tackle, while Tank is a defensive end and potential nickel defensive tackle. For now the team does not seem intent on adding any more depth, so they could be fine just waiting out the clock on their injured defensive linemen.