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Jim Harbaugh provides sort of an update on Tank Carradine, Quinton Dial

49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh had some comments about Tank Carradine and Quinton Dial, which might clue us into their potential return from injury rehab.

Jason O. Watson

San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh made his regular Tuesday morning appearance on KNBR, as he will discuss all things 49ers every other Tuesday on the Murph & Mac Show. In his appearance this morning, Harbaugh had a chance to discuss the 49ers rookies, and their development for the 2013 season. You can listen to audio from the interview HERE.

In discussing the rookies, Murph & Mac asked Coach Harbaugh about rookies making an impact in 2013. They specifically mentioned Eric Reid, Vance McDonald, Corey Lemonier and Quinton Patton, asking if it would be accurate to say all four of those guys would play a significant role in 2013. Coach Harbaugh confirmed they would, and then went on to list other players.

Coach Harbaugh mentioned Kevin McDermott and B.J. Daniels, but then also mentioned Tank Carradine and Quinton Dial, and Marcus Lattimore to a lesser extent. Here is what he said:

Yes, and there will be others to. You mentioned Kevin McDermott, B.J. Daniels, who also made the football team. Tank Carradine who's continuing his process of getting on the field. Quinton Dial. We'll see about Marcus Lattimore but, boy, every time I watch him work out on the side he is making great strides as well.

In reading through this, here is how I interpret Coach Harbaugh's language. Given the way he mentions Carradine and Dial, and then changes tone a bit with Lattimore, it strikes me as an indication the first two have a decent chance of returning to action this season. It sounds like Lattimore is making progress, but Harbaugh is not holding his breath on that one.

The 49ers placed Carradine (ACL recovery) and Dial (turf toe) on the NFI list to start the season, which means they will miss at least the first six weeks of the season. The team also placed Lattimore and Luke Marquardt on the NFI list. While Lattimore and Marquardt seem less likely to come off the list this season, Carradine and Dial would seem to be on a better track.

Carradine suffered his ACL injury the day before Kyle Williams suffered his own ACL injury. Williams was activated at the start of training camp, which means Carradine has now had an extra month of rehab on him. With another six weeks at least, that should hopefully get him ready in time to make an impact this season. The 49ers have a huge stretch between Week 6 and Week 15 in which they can activate Tank. He could make for a huge second half option just as the defense might be starting to wear down a little bit.

Quinton Dial had surgery for turf toe in January, and has been rehabbing ever since. The 49ers might not need him quite as much as Tank given the presence of Ian Williams and Glenn Dorsey. That being said, the 49ers defensive line situation come late October or early November could give us a better idea of what they plan on doing with Dial.