San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh met with the media on Thursday, and he provided a few pieces of roster news for Saturday's game against the San Diego Chargers. Running back Frank Gore is on pace to play Saturday, and is making progress through the concussion protocol. He also said that Mike Purcell would be the next man up on the defensive line, and is likely to be promoted from the practice squad for Saturday.
Gore was at practice on Thursday, wearing a blue non-contact jersey. He has to go through the final contact drill, but he is seemingly making the necessary progress to play on Saturday. Gore is sitting at 804 rushing yards this season, so he will need 196 to reach 1,000. It just so happens he is also 196 yards behind Warrick Dunn for No. 20 on the all-time rushing list. Alfonso Smith will be his primary backup, and Harbaugh said he expects new addition Phillip Tanner to contribute at running back and on special teams.
Harbaugh said that Tony Jerod-Eddie would get the start at defensive end in the base defense. He expects the team will promote Mike Purcell from the practice squad, which likely means it will happen over Lawrence Okoye. He said Purcell was primarily a nose tackle option. That makes sense given that current nose tackle Quinton Dial can already play at the end position as needed.