In a training camp with an injury already on offense, the 49ers defense took a hit of its own on Friday. Nose tackle Glenn Dorsey suffered a torn biceps in practice yesterday and a source says he could be ruled out for the 2014 season.
Week 1 of the 49ers season will be missing at least two starters from the 2013 season with both Dorsey and NaVorro Bowman out with injuries. This is the second season-ending injury suffered at training camp as Kendall Hunter tore his ACL last month.
Dorsey, 29, was signed as a free agent after the 2012 season to a two-year contract. He was initially the fifth overall pick of the 2008 NFL Draft by the Kansas City Chiefs. Dorsey started in every game at NT after Ian Williams went down with a season ending ankle injury in Week 2 against the Seattle Seahawks.
With the NFL being a pass-heavy league, the nose tackle accounts for almost one third of the defensive snaps for the 49ers as they operate in nickel defense majority of the time. Williams is still recovering from the ankle injury as he is on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list.
The depth chart at nose tackle includes 2013 practice squad member Mike Purcell as well as versatile reserve defensive linemen. Tony Jerod Eddie, 2013 fifth-round pick Quinton Dial and Demarcus Dobbs should receive more reps on the interior of the defensive line.
Last year, it was Jerod-Eddie who was playing both nose tackle and defensive end as the reserve lineman. This opens the door for Dial, who saw limited time in two games last year due to a toe injury, to receive more playing time.
The preseason for the 49ers begins on Thursday at Baltimore. A joint practice originally scheduled for Friday at M&T Bank Stadium was canceled due to collective bargaining agreement rules.