Starter: Ian Williams
Backup: Mike Purcell
Starter: Mike Purcell
Backup: Quinton Dial
Nose tackle Ian Williams’ ankle injury was initially going to keep him either limited or out of San Francisco’s Week 1 contest against the Los Angeles Rams. Now, Williams has landed on injured reserve and is out for all of 2016.
Not good news, especially considering Williams was the 49ers’ highest-graded defender (plus-24.4), according to Pro Football Focus.
Defensive tackle Quinton Dial could still land the starting gig in Williams’ stead but, as Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee reported at training camp, nose tackle Mike Purcell “appears far ahead in the competition at nose tackle.”
Purcell is better against the run than he is versus the passing game, so Dial will still get plenty of snaps. And don’t count out fellow defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey (ACL), who is still rehabbing from his 2015 knee injury.
Next: Left Defensive End