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Tony Jerod-Eddie gets first team DL reps, Mike Purcell gets some nickel reps

The San Francisco 49ers are missing Glenn Dorsey from team drills due to a muscle strain. This has opened the door to see what some of the depth can provide.

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The San Francisco 49ers played around with their defensive line a bit on Tuesday as Glenn Dorsey remains sidelined with a muscle strain. Dorsey did return to the practice field, but he sat out team drills. In his place, Tony Jerod-Eddie got the start at the left end position, while Mike Purcell came on for a few reps in the nickel, according to 49ers beat writer Chris Biderman.

Purcell has gotten plenty of praise the last couple weeks, but he is still fighting a tough competition against the veteran TJE. Purcell has some impact plays, but TJE has solid veteran experience at multiple positions. Purcell could very well convince Trent Baalke he is worth a roster spot, but it will not be easy. If the 49ers do elect to cut him, it is a certainty that he will be claimed by somebody.

The 49ers face the Denver Broncos this weekend and we'll get to see who gets what reps on defense. Dorsey could very well be back and good to go, but my guess is the team lets him rest up. It seems a lock he will be starting at 3-4 defensive end this fall, so it makes sense to see what the other guys can do. And for Purcell, getting some extra work outside of nose tackle is beneficial in his attempts to earn a roster spot.