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Glenn Dorsey left practice with an injury Friday, so let's look at the NT position

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Glenn Dorsey injured his left arm at practice. The severity is unknown, but we'll take a look at the 49ers' nose tackle position anyway.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

San Francisco 49ers nose tackle Glenn Dorsey left practice with what appeared to be an injury to his left arm. Multiple beat writers reported that he hurt his elbow, was looked at extensively by the trainers, and did not return to practice. We don't have an update on the injury sustained or the severity thereof, but what we can do is take a look at the nose tackle position if he were to miss some time.

Last year, Ian Williams earned the starting role and was set to rotate with Dorsey. Unfortunately, Williams went down with an injury due to a dirty play from the Seattle Seahawks, so Dorsey was the starter from then on. I think it's safe to say that Dorsey defied all expectations and proved a lot of doubters wrong because he looked excellent for most of the season. He wasn't always making a huge impact on the game, but he rarely made mistakes.

Coming into this season, he's supposed to compete with Williams, whenever he is actually healthy, but is the front-runner to start. Obviously, this could be complicated by any kind of significant injury, but for now, he's in line to start and Williams is hoping to get some playing time as well if he comes back healthy. Behind these guys, there's Mike Purcell, officially.

On Friday, Purcell filled in at the nose tackle spot for the remainder of the session with Dorsey left. But I don't think Purcell would necessarily get much playing time if the 49ers had to enter the regular season. I'd think if someone was going to get some snaps as a proper nose tackle, the 49ers would try guys like Tony Jerod-Eddie and Quinton Dial there.

Whatever the case, we know that the 49ers can get by without even utilizing a nose tackle too much. That's the reason they let Isaac Sopoaga go. Remember: he was playing VERY well at the time, but the 49ers used him on roughly half of their defensive snaps, so they let him walk in free agency. I'd imagine they'd stay out of that base defense more often than naught if they have to enter a game without both Williams and Dorsey.

Of course, this is all speculation. Dorsey could find up being totally fine. Heck, it could be announced that he's fine before this post even goes life. In which case, ya'll should just laugh at me.