Each day, the NFL releases a log of transactions across the league, including waiver claims, player terminations and various other transactions. According to yesterday's transaction log, the 49ers reached an injury settlement with defensive tackle Lamar Divens. That effectively will make him a free agent. The team did NOT come to an injury settlement with defensive tackle Lawrence Okoye (tip of the cap to Matt Barrows for first noticing this).
This means that Okoye will spend the season on injured reserve. Had he reached an injury settlement, he would have been able to sign with the 49ers practice squad after the settlement time plus six weeks. Instead, his rights are retained by the 49ers for the next year.
Barrows pointed out what this means for Okoye's participation with the 49ers this season:
While he will not be able to practice with the 49ers this season, he can attend meetings, do classroom work, watch games from the sidelines and otherwise get an insider's education on how the NFL works -- exactly what a football neophyte requires.
Given that he cannot actually practice, he cannot really physically work on his technique with coaches. However, there will be plenty for him to learn throughout the season. Once the season ends, the injured reserve designation disappears and he can get back to physically working with coaches to implement the techniques he has learned throughout the year. Assuming the injury is not serious, this would mean he will be good to go in time for the offseason workout program, and back at when training camp rolls around next July.