SEATTLE -- The reinforcements will not be arriving.
The 49ers on Saturday placed two would-be defensive starters, linebacker NaVorro Bowman and nose tackle Glenn Dorsey, on injured reserve to make room for practice squad players needed on 53-man squad.
Bowman was moved onto the 53-man roster earlier in the week with the hope that returning to practice would give him a jump-start on tackling the mental hurdles associated with ACL surgery. But the All-Pro linebacker, who tore his left ACL here 11 months ago, was unlikely to play this season. Dorsey, meanwhile, was taken off injured reserve – he was designated for a return to the roster – last month. But he has not regained full strength in the arm in which he suffered a biceps tendon tear in August.
Neither Bowman nor Dorsey will have played a snap for the 49ers this season. They were replaced on the roster by cornerback Marcus Cromartie and guard Andrew Tiller. That suggests cornerback Tramaine Brock (hamstring) and center Marcus Martin (knee) will not play Sunday.
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If Martin, listed as questionable, cannot suit up, guard Joe Looney would likely start his first-ever game at center. The 49ers already will be without right tackle Anthony Davis (concussion). The team's backup linemen would be Tiller and undrafted rookie Dillon Farrell.
At cornerback, starter Chris Culliver also is dealing with a knee injury and is questionable for the upcoming game. He practiced on a limited basis this week. The team's only fully healthy cornerbacks are Perrish Cox, rookie Dontae Johnson, Leon McFadden and Cromartie.
Read Matt Barrows’ blogs and archives at www.sacbee.com/sf49ers.