Defensive lineman Glenn Dorsey was a surprise scratch from Thursday’s lineup after his knee began bothering him in Wednesday’s practice.
Dorsey, 31, practiced fully Monday and Tuesday but was limited in Wednesday’s session, the team’s most vigorous of the week. Dorsey is coming back from an ACL injury suffered in November; it’s not known whether the new injury is to the same knee. He warmed up before the game but didn’t feel confident in the knee and was ruled out shortly thereafter.
His absence meant that a 49ers defensive line that had been steamrolled in recent weeks was without two of its top four players. First-round draft pick DeForest Buckner missed the game with a foot injury.
The 49ers’ starting defensive linemen Thursday were Arik Armstead, Mike Purcell and Quinton Dial. Defensive linemen Tony Jerod-Eddie and Taylor Hart, both of whom were inactive Sunday against Dallas, were in uniform as well.
The 49ers, who had given up more than 400 yards in their last three games, surrendered only 288 to the Cardinals. But they allowed running back David Johnson to gain 157 yards, sacked quarterback Drew Stanton only once and didn’t force any turnovers.
Lynch starts – The 49ers activated Aaron Lynch before Thursday’s game, and he started the contest at right outside linebacker. Lynch, who was suspended for the first four contests, took the roster spot of inside linebacker NaVorro Bowman, who went on injured reserve.
Lynch finished with two tackles, including one behind the line of scrimmage.
Bowman’s ‘minor setback’ – Bowman, who returned from a major knee injury in 2015, said he’d do the same with his torn, left Achilles’ tendon. In fact, Bowman called his tear a “minor setback.”
“I want to say thank you to all the fans, my teammates and peers that have sent me get-well wishes for a speedy recovery,” Bowman tweeted. “I know God will protect and guide me thru these times. It’s just a minor setback for a major comeback.”
Bowman, 28, was leading the 49ers in tackles when he got hurt. Nick Bellore made his first NFL start in six seasons at Bowman’s former position. He finished with a team-high nine tackles and shared a sack with fellow inside linebacker Michael Wilhote.
Anthem watch – Colin Kaepernick knelt during the national anthem along with Eric Reid and Eli Harold. Five 49ers – Antoine Bethea, Keith Reaser, Rashard Robinson, Mike Davis and Jaquiski Tartt – raised their right fists. Davis, who raised his fist before the Seahawks game in Week 3 but not before the Cowboys game, told The Mercury News this week he forgot to do it.
Et cetera – Cornerback Chris Davis was carted off the field with a knee injury after getting injured while returning a kick in the third quarter. Mike Davis handled kick returns from that point forth. Linebacker Tank Carradine left the game with a toe injury.
▪ Robinson, a rookie, started at cornerback in place of Jimmie Ward for the second straight game. Reaser filled in at nickel cornerback.
▪ Reid rallied his teammates in the 49ers’ pregame huddle. That job has been handled in the past by Bowman.