The 49ers announced they have waived/injured Will Tukuafu in order to make room for DL Demarcus Dobbs, who has been reinstated from a one-game suspension. Dobbs was previously suspended for a marijuana possession charge last year.
Tukuafu played in 14 regular season game last year where he was utilized as a defensive lineman, fullback and on special teams. He and Dobbs were both known as two-way players on offense and defense with Dobbs serving as an extra tight end besides his natural position on the defensive line.
Recently, Dobbs and Tony Jerod-Eddie passed Tukuafu on the depth chart at defensive end. Tukuafu was part of the seven inactive players for the season opener against the Green Bay Packers, which sealed his fate. Ian Williams and Glenn Dorsey are both capable of playing DE if needed as the 49ers were seen playing nickel defense for majority of the game.
Jerod-Eddie proved to be a more valuable DE than Tukuafu with his run stopping abilities. He provided a few breathers for Justin Smith and Ray McDonald on Sunday against the Packers.
Releasing a player after someone else returns could be a common trend for the 49ers this season. Mario Manningham and Michael Crabtree are currently on the PUP who can return as early as Week 6. They must activated after a grace period of three weeks, or else they will be on the injured reserve. The 2013 draft picks Tank Carradine and Quinton Dial are both on the Non-Football injury list and also must wait until Week 6 to return at the earliest.
Tukuafu is not eligible for the practice squad as he has served more than the minimum number of games on an active 46-man roster. He originally started his career in Seattle as an undrafted free agent in 2010 before signing with the 49ers later than year.