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Jim Harbaugh expecting defensive line reinforcements next week

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Jim Harbaugh indicated the 49ers might have defensive line reinforcements on the way soon. We take a look at what this might mean.

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The San Francisco 49ers might be getting some defensive line bodies back in the near future. Head coach Jim Harbaugh met with the media on Saturday before the first 49ers-Ravens joint practice, and was asked if the team was making any additions to the defensive line.

"Thin still and will be through the weekend and until we get back next week. We've got some reinforcements coming next week, from our own team."

Coach Harbaugh said that Will Tukuafu might get some work along the line. Tukuafu has focused on fullback this offseason, but got four defensive line snaps on Thursday.

Demarcus Dobbs and Lawrence Okoye each appeared to suffered ankle injuries, so it is possible neither will see a lot of participation this weekend. Even still, Coach Harbaugh's comments would seem to indicate the 49ers are expecting to get one or more of their more notable injured defensive players back. That group includes Ray McDonald, Justin Smith, Ian Williams, and Glenn Dorsey. I think we can be fairly certain Dorsey won't be back, but this could mean Ray McDonald will get back on the practice field, or Ian Williams will be activated off the PUP list.

My guess is Ray McDonald could be back. While Justin Smith has not taken part in team drills the entire camp, Ray McDonald was in team drills the first four practices. He suffered some kind of leg injury, and Vic Fangio previously indicated the team was simply being prudent holding him out. Given that it has been a couple weeks now, maybe McDonald is back and ready. I suppose we'll find out in the coming days.