The 49ers promoted nose tackle Mike Purcell to their active roster Friday, giving them some depth on a unit that suddenly has become short on bodies. He will wear no. 64.
Purcell, an undrafted rookie from Wyoming, played throughout the preseason and has been on the practice squad since. His presence gives the team a second nose tackle behind starter Quinton Dial. It also perhaps will allow Dial to help fill in at defensive end, where the 49ers are light after releasing Ray McDonald Wednesday.
The 49ers also have released defensive end Demarcus Dobbs and placed nose tackles Ian Williams and Glenn Dorsey on injured reserve. Williams said his broken leg, suffered Nov. 9, is now healed but that he hasn’t started the rehabilitation process.
Tony Jerod-Eddie is expected to start at left defensive end -- McDonald’s former spot -- Saturday against San Diego. Tank Carradine is the only backup defensive end on the roster. Carradine mostly has played on the right side this season. He played right defensive end in the preseason while Dial played on the left.
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Meanwhile, it doesn't appear as if tight end Xavier Grimble will be promoted from the practice squad to the active roster. The 49ers have just two tight ends on the 53-man roster, Vernon Davis and Asante Cleveland.
Read Matt Barrows’ blogs and archives at www.sacbee.com/sf49ers.