The San Francisco 49ers dropped some mildly surprising news Monday afternoon. The team announced that defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey has returned to practice. Dorsey suffered a torn biceps muscle in early August, and was placed on the injured reserve with return designation on September 2. He was not eligible to practice with the team for at least six weeks, and could not be activated until after eight weeks had passed.
This move does not mean he is on the 53-man roster. Instead, he is allowed to practice for some amount of time before the team has to either activate him or place him on season-ending IR. The PUP and NFI lists have a 21-day window, and all reports indicate the IRRD includes a similar window.
When we were first learning about the injury, our belief was that his rehab time would be somewhere in the 3-4 month range. It has been a little less than 3 months since the surgery, so either he was ahead of schedule or the injury was not quite as bad as we might have figured. My guess is it is more of the former, but we don't know. For now, he will practice and at some point be activated to the 53-man roster.
Ian Williams returned to the starting nose tackle role in Dorsey's absence, and Williams has been superb in the role. I would imagine Williams will continue as the nose tackle, and Dorsey will become part of the defensive line rotation alongside Tony Jerod-Eddie and Demarcus Dobbs. Of course, we could also see Dobbs or TJE dealt by Tuesday's trade deadline.
Fooch's Update: Chris Culliver and Jimmie Ward attended practice as well
Harbaugh said DBs Chris Culliver (shoulder, hamstring) and Jimmie Ward (quad) returned to practice today. Culliver in full, Ward limited.— Chris Biderman (@ChrisBiderman) October 27, 2014