The San Francisco 49ers made a roster move on Thursday. The NFL transaction report came out this afternoon, and it says the 49ers have released nose tackle Ian Williams from the Reserve/NFI list with an injury settlement. A settlement involves paying a player X amount of game checks based on how much more time he would miss with his injury.
This could mark the end of Williams’ 49ers career if the ankle remains problematic, but it also leaves open the door for his return this season. The 49ers released wide receiver DeAndre Smelter with an injury settlement, and subsequently signed him back. The 49ers conceivably could do the same thing with Williams. They would need to wait the length of the settlement plus three weeks. So, if the settlement is for three weeks, they could re-sign him in six weeks.
There has been no discussion of what this might mean, but given the recurring ankle issues, I would guess this is unlikely to result in him re-signing with the team. But again, we don’t know yet. Chip Kelly will not have media availability until next week, so for the time being, we are left with no new information.
It’s been a rough go for Williams. He’s a very talented defensive tackle, but injuries have been a problem throughout his career. His absence is a big reason the run defense is a mess.