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Glenn Dorsey starting at nose tackle in place of Mike Purcell

Could this improve the 49ers run defense?

The San Francisco 49ers made a notable move on Sunday, announcing that normal nose tackle Mike Purcell is inactive, and Glenn Dorsey is starting in his place. The 49ers lost Ian Williams to injured reserve before the season even started, and the 49ers run defense has suffered ever since. There are numerous reasons for it, but with no new options at inside linebacker, the team is shaking up their defensive line.

Dorsey has been recovering from his 2015 torn ACL, and has been slow to get back in the mix. He has played bits and pieces of some games, and sat in other games. This marks his first formal start.

He will join a 49ers defense facing a Saints offense that focuses on the pass, but can be tough on the ground. Mark Ingram is their normal starter, with Tim Hightower serving as a complementary option. However, last week, Ingram was benched after a fumble, and Hightower got the bulk of the work the rest of the way. It remains to be seen exactly how the Saints will operate their run game against a bad 49ers run defense. Hopefully the return of Dorsey to a starting role can give the unit a boost.