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Mike Purcell could be a beneficiary of Ian Williams injury

The San Francisco 49ers have to regroup along the defensive line following news that Ian Williams is recovering from multiple ankle surgeries.

The unexpected news that Ian Williams had multiple surgeries on his ankle this offseason raises all sorts of questions heading into OTAs in two weeks. Schefter is reporting there is a question as to whether or not Williams will be ready for Week 1 of the 2016 regular season.

We've got a long way to go before we know what's up with that, but we can start to consider what it means for the San Francisco 49ers depth chart. Quinton Dial will start at one end of the line, and for now, Arik Armstead would likely start at the other end. Mike Purcell would be the player that likely takes over at nose tackle if Williams is not ready. The depth chart also includes Kaleb Ramsey and Garrison Smith. Tony Jerod-Eddie remains unsigned, but seems likely to end up getting a fairly simple contract to return. Glenn Dorsey is on the roster as well, but his torn ACL likely will cost him a portion of the season on the PUP list.

Purcell is the primary beneficiary given his experience along the line. Williams will be able to learn the defensive playbook during OTAs and minicamp, but it would seem like the injury will prevent him from doing much in the way of on-field drills for the time being. Non-contact work is valuable, but training camp is where the injury could be even more costly. And that's where Purcell can gain an edge for the time being.

The team could very well end up drafting defensive line talent, but until we get to the draft, we can only base things on the players currently on the roster. I suspect they invest fairly early in a defensive lineman, but for now, we know Mike Purcell is likely the next man up at nose tackle. He is signed through the 2016 season, but lack of accrued seasons means he will not be going anywhere anytime soon.