The San Francisco 49ers made a pair of expected roster moves official on Tuesday. The team signed wide receiver Kassim Osgood, and placed Glenn Dorsey on the injured reserve with a return designation. Head coach Jim Harbaugh mentioned these likely moves Tuesday morning.
Osgood returns to compete primarily as a special team player. Among other roles, he will operate as a gunner on special teams. The discussion among beat writers has been that he will work that role opposite rookie L.J. McCray. The 49ers kept McCray over safety C.J.Spillman, although his gunner work would replace that of Darryl Morris. Osgood got some wide receiver snaps last season, but he is a wide receiver in name only.
The decision to place Dorsey on IR/RD means they think he can return this season. While on the list, Dorsey will not be eligible to practice with the team until at least 6 weeks have passed. The team cannot activate him off the list until at least 8 weeks have passed. When Dorsey suffered the injury back in early August, reports of a clean tear indicated he would be looking at a 3-4 month recovery period. We are officially a month removed from the injury, so he is potentially looking at a return in the November/December timeframe. I'd guess closer to December than November, but we'll see how quickly he can recover.
The 49ers decision to place him on the list means they can not use this list for anybody else. Teams can use IR/RD on one player. The 49ers could have carried Dorsey a little bit longer to see if anybody gets hurt, but if they're confident he can return before the end of the season, he is the kind of player for which you use this designation. He could be an impact player in December, January, and potentially February. When the rest of the defensive line is wearing down, he will be rested and ready to go. It bodes well for a defense that could also welcome back NaVorro Bowman during this stretch.