The 49ers on Saturday released Quinton Dial, a two-year starter along the defensive line but someone who was not a good fit in their new scheme. The team also placed Chris Jones, who had been the team’s second-string defensive tackle throughout the offseason and preseason, on injured reserve, ending his season.
Dial started 26 games over the last two seasons. Unlike nearly every other starter on the team, he played in Thursday’s finale and didn’t even get to start. That honor went to rookie nose tackle D.J. Jones and defensive tackle Chris Jones. Dial had played both positions in the offseason.
The move means it’s likely that D.J. Jones, a sixth-round pick out of Ole Miss, will make the squad as the backup nose tackle. With Chris Jones gone, the team still may be searching for a backup defensive tackle.
Dial was a fifth-round selection in the 2015 draft. His best position is as a defensive end in a 3-4 scheme, the style of defense the 49ers used in his first four years in the league. San Francisco switched to a 4-3 scheme in the offseason, one that uses a nose tackle.
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The 49ers must trim their roster to 53 players by 1 p.m. today. Some players, like safety Don Jones, will be placed on injured reserve. Jones reported on social media Friday that he suffered an ACL tear in Thursday’s preseason finale.