Veteran nose tackle Glenn Dorsey suffered a torn left bicep in Friday’s practice, according to multiple sources, and he will have surgery to repair the damage. It’s unknown whether Dorsey will miss the entire season but the injury was described as “significant.” A time line for his recovery will be decided after the surgery.
Another nose tackle, Ian Williams, suffered a broken bone and torn ankle ligaments after a low block in Seattle in Week 2 last year, an injury from which he still is recovering. Williams is on the physically-unable-to-perform list and hasn’t practiced this offseason. Second-year player Mike Purcell filled in on Friday. Quinton Dial and Tony Jerod-Eddie also are options at the position.
The 49ers had their roughest practice of the summer Friday with two notable dust ups. Dorsey was injured early in practice. His bicep injury is considered more significant than the one Ray McDonald suffered a year ago. McDonald was affected by the injury but did not miss any games because of it. All three of the team’s starters on the defensive line -- Justin Smith, McDonald and Dorsey -- have had either a torn bicep or tricep since Dec. 12, 2012.
The 49ers also have lost running back Kendall Hunter (ACL) for the season and running back LaMichael James (elbow) for several weeks. On defense, the team will start the season without would-be starter NaVorro Bowman (ACL) and perhaps without Aldon Smith, who is facing a possible league suspension.
Dorsey, who celebrated his 29th birthday on the day he was injured, is in the final year of a two-year contract. The 49ers don’t use a nose tackle when they are in their nickel defense, which they play on nearly 60 percent of their defensive snaps.