The San Francisco 49ers defensive line has taken some big hits from injuries, but the unit could be looking at a notable reinforcement this weekend. Second year lineman Ronald Blair has been on injured reserve since the start of the season, but the team is looking to bring him back. Defensive coordinator Robert Saleh said on Thursday that Blair is expected back, and appears to remain on track to be back this weekend.
Blair was injured in the preseason, but the team waited until after roster cuts to put him on IR. That left open the chance for a return, which they are set to take advantage of soon. Saleh was talking about the line’s injury issues, and mentioned that only DeForest Buckner, Earl Mitchell, and Elvis Dumervil were on the roster at the start of the season. They have gotten extensive contributions from Leger Douzable and Tony McDaniel, but getting Blair back will be a big help.
The 49ers will have one more return designation available. In three weeks, they could potentially use it on Tank Carradine. Arik Armstead and Jimmie Ward are both eligible later in the season, but given the state of things, it makes sense to shelve them and use the return on Tank. He is in the last year of his contract, so it makes sense to get more film on him for any potential contract extension.